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Somerset Gazetteer

A38 Big Cat (2001)

On Wednesday, 22 August, 2001 the BBC News website published the following article entitled 'Lioness' spotted by motorists’

Motorists at a Somerset petrol station raised the alarm when they spotted a "big cat" in an adjoining field. Read More »

Beast of Badcox (2006)

The following article entitled ‘Hunt is on for the Beast of Badcox’ appeared in the Frome & Somerset Standard on 7th September 2006 and concerns a big cat that was sighted in Victoria Park, Frome.

The hunt is on for a mysterious large black cat that was spotted roaming at night in Frome Victoria Park. Read More »

Beast of Banwell (2007)

In September 2007 an unidentified animale tagged the Beast Banwell was seen by Helen Stokes whilst she walked her dog. The following article entitled 'Back - the Beast of Banwell' from the Eastern Daily Press website is dated 14 September 2007. Read More »

The Black Down Hills

The Black Downs have a long tradition as a haunt of the fairies, and stories tell of many sightings as recently as a few hundred years ago, when many country folk believed we shared this land with supernatural denizens. Read More »

Blue Ben of Kilve

A dragon called Blue Ben resided here and was supposedly the steed of the devil. He fell from a causeway of rocks and drowned in the mud. His skull (actually a fossil Ichthyosaur) was uncovered and is on display in the local museum.

The above was taken from an article by Richard Freeman.

Brent Knoll

The hill, which was once and Iron Age hillfort, is associated with an Arthurian Legend, and was the abode of three fearsome giants. Read More »

Caractacus Stone

This standing stone has a number of traditions associated with it, it looks very much like a Neolithic standing stone, although sources suggest that it actually dates to the fifth century, during the end of the Roman occupation. The name of the stone is certainly of Roman origin although it may have been old during the Roman period. Read More »

Combe Sydenham

Combe Sydenham Hall

Combe Sydenham is associated with a legendary story concerning Sir Francis Drake, and another historical figure, George Sydenham, who has also become the subject of folklore. Read More »

Creech Hill

The Creech Hill Bullbegger is said to haunt the area, as a tall apparition who laughs manically from the hillside. A Bullbeggar is the local name for a boggart or mischievous spirit. Read More »

Croydon Hill

Croydon Hill is the scene of a peculiar English Folktale, that may or may not have its root in real events. Whatever the truth of the tale the hill has a reputation of being haunted by unearthly howls, especially on dark and stormy nights, and here is the story to account for this unearthly manifestation: Read More »

Curry Mallet

The Manor House (Mallet Court) was in the hands of the Mallet family for over 900 years until it was sold in the 1980's. Amongst its many visitors, the manor house can boast William the Conqueror, King John and Henry the II. The site was originally the site of a Saxon stronghold, and before that there may have been a Roman settlement there. Read More »

Dragon of Aller

The dragon of Aller was a terrifying beast. It spat both fire and venom and flew on vast leathery wings. It lived in a hillside cave just outside of Aller and, as western dragons are want to do, laid waste to the land. Read More »

Giant Blacksmith of Batcombe

A skilled giant blacksmith lived upon Burn Hill according to local legend and he would appear whenever his name was called in order to perform acts of blacksmithing which was considered beyond the capability of mortal man.

Glastonbury

Glastonbury Tor Landscape

Glastonbury has been identified with the mysterious Isle of Avalon from the twelfth century, its past has become steeped in myth and legend, and it is probably most famous for its Arthurian and early Christian traditions. Read More »

Glastonbury Abbey, Arthur's Grave

Arthur's Cross

This is a reproduction of the cross said to have been found in Arthur's grave at Glastonbury Abbey. The actual grave seems to have been a very early burial but the Arthur link is tenuous. The actual cross disappeared many years ago and the only depiction is from a drawing by William Camden in 1607, from which this picture has been redrawn. Read More »

Glastonbury Arthur's Avalon

Arthur's Cross

Beside the main roads leading into the dreamy Somerset town of Glastonbury, are a series of signboards welcoming all to 'The Ancient Avalon', and causing a nationwide controversy. Glastonbury claims to be Avalon, to be the final resting place of King Arthur, and the site to which the Holy Grail was borne to by Joseph of Arimethea. Read More »

Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree

Holy Thorn

I have visited Glastonbury many times over the last few decades, but only got around to visiting the Holy Thron on Wearyall Hill for the first time in September 2011. Unfortunately it was in a poor state after being vandalised the previous December and then apparently further damaged by souvenir hunters. Read More »

Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor

The Tor has been associated with magic and mystery for thousands of years. It seems likely that early man used the tor for rituals, and maze like path has been identified spiralling around the tor seven times. Professor Philip Rahtz dated the terraces to the Neolithic period, and concluded that they may have been part of a maze. Read More »

Gold Hill Black Dog

There is a black dog tradition thought to be attached to Gold Hill in Batcombe, described as having a chain around its neck. The associated story suggests that the dog’s owner in life buried it in woodland nearby.

Higher Farm, Chilton Cantelo

The farm is associated with a 'screaming skull' that is supposed to create havoc whenever there is an attempt to bury it. The tale was committed to paper in 1791 by John Collinson in his History and Antiquities of Somerset. Read More »

Holman Clavel Inn

The Black Downs are also the home of the Holman Clavel Inn, which resides near Blagdon. The Inn was said to house a spirit known as 'Chimbley Charlie', a kind of protective hearth spirit once thought to reside in many homes. Read More »

Kingston St Mary Dragon

A savage fire-breathing dragon terrorized this area until a champion came forth to tackle it. The hero rolled a boulder up a hill opposite to the dragon’s lair and shouted out to the monster. As the dragon emerged, jaws agape, the champion rolled the boulder down into its open maw, choking it before it could roast him with a jet of flame. Read More »

Langford Budville Abduction (1973)

On 16th October 1973 a 43-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld, was driving to Langford Budville, when the engine and lights cut out from her car. She got out of the car to check what was wrong and felt something touch her arm. She turned to be confronted by a 6-foot tall robot like entity. Read More »

Minehead

Minehead

Minehead is the scene of the Obby Oss Festival April 30th, May 1st -3rd. The oss or horse is a covered wooden frame with a painted head at the centre bedecked with ribbons. The Oss meets the rising sun early on the 1st of May. In some stories this festival is said to date to a time when the local people scared away Norse invaders by disguising their ship as a sea serpent. Read More »

Muchelney Abbey

The abbey is associated with a folk tale that has many variations around the country, most notably at Borley, on the site of an old monastery. Read More »

Nether Stowey

Nether Stowey has a number of holy wells, and the crossroads at Over Stowey is traditionally haunted by a creature known as the Galley Beggar, who laughs demonically at passers by. A Galley Begger is the local name for a frightening spirit.

Norton Fitzwarren Dragon

Here the Roman general Ostorius was said to have killed hundreds of ancient Britons. Over the centuries a dragon is said to have grown from the corruption of the rotting bodies (this spontaneous growth of creatures from rotting matter was a common belief in Medieval times). Read More »

Paranormal Somerset by Sonia Smith

Paranormal Somerset

Everyone loves a good ghost story, as a kid it's what got me interested in the paranormal and it's what will hopefully get the next generation interested in finding out more. Most ghost books review accounts and experiences but this one takes a story and gives it a fictional twist with characters so that you become involved in the story and identify with the events surrounding them. Read More »

Sedgemoor

Sedgemoor

Like many of the ancient battlefields of Britain, Sedgemoor - the site of the final defeat of the Duke of Monmouth's ill armed rebel army - has gathered many folklore traditions and legends. Read More »

Shervage Wood

Shervage Wood has is home to a number of traditions, perhaps because it was once perceived as being enchanted. In legend and folklore the wood was the home of a dragon known as The Gurt Vurm of Shervage Wood. The dragon was said to have the girth of at least three mature oak trees, and was the bane of the local villages eating cattle and making a general nuisance of itself. Read More »

Shute Shelve Hill

Shute Shelve Hill stands at 764ft overlooking the town of Axbridge. In the 17th century Shute Shelve was used as a site of public execution and is thought to be haunted a woman and two men that were hanged there for the murder of the womans husband.

Taunton Castle

Many places in Somerset have traditions and legends relating back to the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, locally known as the 'Duking Days'. Many Somerset people were to suffer at the hands of the authorities after the failed uprising, and Taunton Castle was the scene for some of the trails of the Bloody Assizes, when hundreds of people were sent to the Gallows by Judge Jeffries. Read More »

The Chalice Well, Glastonbury

Chalice Well

The Chalice Well has been associated with healing and with the Holy Grail for many years. According to legend Joseph of Arimethea placed the cup that held the blood of Christ into the well. The waters run red with Iron Oxide another association with blood. Read More »

The George and Pilgrim Hotel, Glastonbury

Known as the George before the 20th century, The George and Pilgrim dates from the 1430's* and was originally owned by the Abbots of Glastonbury Abbey until its dissolution in September 1539. Read More »

Wassailing The Apple Trees - Carhampton

Wassail originates from the Old English "waes hael", meaning "be well".  It is a mulled cider or ale seasoned with honey and spices.  Wassailing the apple trees is a traditional way of blessing th etrees to ensure a good harvest.  Villagers would gather around the apple trees making a racket to awaken the tree spirits and scare away any lingering deamons.  The strongest tre Read More »

Wievliscombe

The red sandstone Church of St Andrew in Wievliscombe was designed by Richard Carver and built between 1827-1829. It has a font and a sandstone cross which date to the 14th century, but interestingly it also has a devil legend associated with it. When the church was being built, the devil appeared riding a green dragon and started to hurl rocks at the church. Read More »

Wookey Hole

Wookey Hole is famed for "The Witch of Wookey" a giant stalagmite, which resembles a witches face in profile. Folklore tells that the stalagmite was once a witch who terrorised the local area, and was petrified by the intervention of a Glastonbury monk. Read More »



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