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Bel the Giant


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myvoodoochild
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How Belgrave in Leicester got it's name!

Long ago before the race of giants had died out in Britain, one of their numbers lived in Leicestershire. His name was Bel and he lived four or five miles north of Leicester. Bel was a great boaster and claimed he could reach Leicester on his sorrel mare in three huge leaps.

His boast was challenged and Bel accepted a wager. He mounted his sorrel mare at a place now called Mountsorrel. His first leap took him high over Rothley and he landed at a spot now called Wanlip (one leap). His second mighty jump broke his harness and burst the heart of his gallant steed. His second leap took Bel to the place now called Birstall. Bel forced his mare to her feet and made her undertake one final effort. The horse and rider landed about a mile short of Leicester, but both were killed by their fall. They were buried together in one grave in a place now called Belgrave. There is a rhyme about the story that goes like:

Mountsorrel he mounted at
Rothley he rode by
Wanlip he leaped o'er
At Birstall he burst his gall
At Belgrave he was buried at.

The Villages of Mountsorrel, Rothley, Wanlip and Birstall form roughly a straight line between Loughborough and Leicester. Belgrave was once a village in its own right but now is part of the city of Leicester. So if Bel had made his wager today he would have won it as he did make it into Present day Leicester in three leaps, just as he boasted he would!!

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Ian Topham
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Re: Bel the Giant

That's a new one for me Myvoodoochild.  I'll see about getting an account in the gazetteer:)

myvoodoochild
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Re: Bel the Giant

Thank you. It's a story I found out about whilst researching Folklore in Leicestershire. There doesn't seem to be many Folklore stories from Leicestershire. It mainly seems to be Hauntings. I don't suppose there is anything that you can suggest about finding Myths, Legends & Folklore from Leicestershire?

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Nessa
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Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Re: Bel the Giant

I read about this story in Leicestershire Ghosts and Legends. By David Bell.
I have to agree that the majority of stories from Leics are mostly ghosts and there are plenty of them!

myvoodoochild
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Re: Bel the Giant

Leicester has a countless amount of Ghosts but not a lot of Folklore. It seems that the most dominant piece of Folklore in Leicester is the Legend of Black Annis. Who is hudrends of years old (maybe thousands if take on some of the theories) and is now supposed to haunt Leicester Castle (there was supposed to be a Tunnel connecting her Bower in Dane Hills, Leicestershire to Leicester Castle but that probably won't be proved seeing as they knocked down her supposed Bower in the 1920's and built a Housing estate on/around it).

Mauro
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: Bel the Giant

Very nice story, an interesting piece of giants folklore. Thanks for sharing!

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


myvoodoochild
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Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Re: Bel the Giant

Thank you. I hope to add more Folklore from Leicestershire soon (if I can find any, lol). I have reserved a Folklore & Legends in Leicester book at my local library which I'm hoping will tell me more about Folklore in the area. I'm originally from Leicester. Which is why I have a fascination with folklore in that area.

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Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: Bel the Giant

What about Black Dogs?  They tend to straddle the folklore/haunting fence sometimes.  In an article I read about Black Dogs it mentions Black Shug from Holwell Mouth Wood, maybe there are tales associated with it.

myvoodoochild
User offline. Last seen 2 years 19 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Re: Bel the Giant

Thanks for the tip. I've heard about Black Shug but I've not come across alot of information about it. I must looking in the wrong area's but I'll keep looking. I'll post the best thing that I find.



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