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Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore


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Andrew Gable's picture
Andrew Gable
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009

One aspect of my current research has me collecting information on British traditions concerning wolves and werewolves from the areas of Northumberland and Cumbria, particularly, and also Scotland south of Edinburgh.  I'm currently trying to wade through the scant bits of information available to me and trying to track down the mysterious Welsh figure Gwrgi Garwllwyd, the rough-grey man-dog.  In some circles, he's also identified with German Garbglass, a guy mentioned in the Tain Bo Cuailnge (garbhglas is Irish for rough-grey, and garb glasruad is sometimes used to refer to werewolves). 

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Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore

Hi agable
These two articles might be of interest:
www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/northumberland/legends/the-hexham-heads.html

www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/northumberland/legends/the-wolf-of-allendale-the-hexham-wolf.html
I will have a look to see if I have anything in literature about your research.
D.P.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore

Nothing springs to mind at the moment but I will see what I can dig up.

Andrew Gable's picture
Andrew Gable
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Re: Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore

One eerie bit of synchronicity and coincidence is that Gwrgi was said to associate himself with the Saxon king Edelfled (who was actually Æthelfrith, king of Berenicia around 860) and the daughter in the Hexham case was named Berenice.  I think the case of the Hexham Heads is...interesting.  I keep remembering the Celtic sculpture called the Tarasque of Noves, which despite the name is actually a wolfish predator with a severed arm in its mouth, each paw resting upon a severed head.  And which had a receptacle in it conveniently sized for a skull...

Also I recall the "werewolf skull" legend recounted by Elliot O'Donnell.  This association between wolves and/or werewolves and heads or skulls is interesting...

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Urisk's picture
Urisk
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Re: Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore

I recall a folk belief of the Wulver, which is your typical-looking wolf-man, that inhabits the northern islands, but is said to be gentle of nature. I still wonder if werewolves stemmed from witness accounts of the Ulfhednar; fierce viking warriors very closely tied to the Berskins, or beserkers.

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Agricola's picture
Agricola
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: Northern England - Scottish Wolf and Werewolf Lore

 Wasn't a similar thing said to have been conjuered up by Crowley at Boleskin and still said to be haunting the banks of Loch Ness?

The Dolphin Hotel, Littlehampton

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