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Brigid's festival is the first of February, otherwise known as Imbolc, when ritual fires of purification were lit. She takes over from the goddess of winter and is seen as the maiden aspect of the triple goddess by some researchers. In Irish mythology she is the daughter of the Dagda, the father god, and ruler of the Tuatha de Dannan. Read More »
The legend of Arthur is one of the most popular and well known of British legends. From early brief passages to the mythic epic we know today, the story of Arthur has long been a source of inspiration to writers, poets and artists. He has become associated with hundreds of places in the British Isles and France, some of which will be listed in the gazetteer section in the coming months. Read More »
The story of Gawain and the Green Knight, follows a theme that is to be found in other Celtic myths, and is typical of the supernatural testing of warriors. The beheading challenge is a common folklore motif, and can be found in the tales of Cuchulian the hound of Ulster. Read More »
A brief run through of Geoffrey of Monmouth's version of the Arthurian legend from 'The History of the Kings of Britain'. Read More »
A Welsh and Irish god of giant size who was the son of the sea god Mannannan Mac Lir.
Bran had many heroic episodes, but was fatally injured during an excursion to Ireland to rescue his sister Branwen. Mortally wounded in the foot with a poisoned spear, he ordered his companions to take his severed head to the White Mount, where the Tower of London now stands. Read More »
A flower maiden of Welsh myth, created for Llew Llaw Gyffes by Gwydion and Math from flowers and nine elements, because he was forbidden to take a human wife. Read More »
A goddess associated with farming and with cattle, two very important commodities in Celtic society. She was reared on the milk of a fairy cow, and pictured as a beautiful woman wearing a crown, and a breastplate, and carrying a spear. Read More »
A Solar deity, he can be seen as a Celtic equivalent of Apollo, and there are various traces of his cult in Britain. In Irish mythology he was Bile, a powerful god of the underworld. Read More »
Balor can be equated to a god of death and destruction, in Irish mythology he was the son of Net, and lord of the Formorians, the grotesque race that inhabited Ireland before the Tuatha de Dannan. Read More »
A Welsh god who is the ruler of the underworld. He is mentioned in the Mabinogion in the Tale of 'Pwyll Lord of Dyfed' and in 'The Spoils of Annwn'.
Pwyll meets the god while he out hunting on the fringes of his kingdom, and offends Arawn by letting his hounds loose on a stag already being hunted by him. Read More »
A Welsh goddess mentioned in the old Welsh stories now incorporated into the Mabinogion. She is the daughter of Don and the sister of Gwydion, the bard and magician. Read More »
An Irish god of love, he was one of the offspring of the promiscuous Dagda, and there are various tales told about his exploits in Irish mythology. Read More »
The son of Ceridwen and Tegid Veol, in the Welsh myth of Taliesin. Ceridwen had two children; a daughter of outstanding beauty, and a son Afagddu, who was malformed and ugly (the least favoured of all men). To balance Afagddu's misfortune, Ceridwen decided to create a potion in her cauldron of inspiration, so that he might have knowledge of the future, clear sight, and be favoured among men. Read More »
Whitby is associated with a wealth of traditions and legends. The abbey, now a guant ruin, was built in 651AD and destroyed in a Danish raid in 870AD, it was reconstructed by the Benedictines in the 11th Century. At one time crowds used to gather at the West side of Whitby churchyard, where there was clear view of the North side of the abbey and the highest window. Read More »
Situated near the village of Calanais, Isle of Lewis on a ridge of land above Loch Roag, Callanais is one of the more remote stone circles in the British Isles. The circle consists of a central stone just under five metres in height, surrounded by a circle of thirteen stones. Read More »
This gloomy atmospheric church, dating from the sixteenth century, is dedicated to St Clement, who was a bishop of Dunblane parish. Read More »
This mighty monolith - dating back to the late Bronze Age - is Scotland's tallest standing stone, measuring nearly 6m (20 feet) in height, it would have been even taller before the change in climate a Read More »
Situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, the broch is one of the best-preserved in Lewis; one wall still stands 30 feet at its highest point. Read More »
This small and ancient church has a plethora of legends and traditions associated with it, making it one of the most important mysterious sites on the Isle of Lewis. Read More »
The mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers on Eilean More in the Flannen Isles in 1900, is probably the best-documented mysterious disappearance to have occurred in Britain. Read More »
This array of boulders marks what is left of a chambered cairn, and possibly shows the site was overlain by a huge hall. The site is 50 feet in diameter and oval in shape. The age of the site is debatable and according to different sources ranges from from 1800 - 1500 BC or 3000 - 1500 BC.
Directions: Steinacleit is at Siadar on the A857.
Folklore tells of a tribe of supernatural sea creatures called the Blue Men of the Minch, who used to inhabit the stretch of water known as the Minch, between Lewis, the Shiant Islands and Long Island. Read More »
Barpa Langass is a Neolithic chambered cairn, which now survives as a jumbled mass of stone overlooking a moonscape of barren peatland. The cairn is roughly 16 feet high, and around 82 feet across. Read More »
According to a local tradition, the stretch of road (A857) from Galson to the Port of Ness at the tip of Lewis, is said to be haunted. The tale runs that a carrier from Ness was returning from Stornoway many years ago, and had to pass a large stone slab near the village of Galson, which marked the grave of a pedlar who had been murdered at the spot. Read More »