English folklore

From Academic Kids

English folklore is the folk tradition which has evolved in England over a number of centuries. Some English legends can be traced back to their roots, even as far as before the Roman invasion of Britain, while the origin of others is fairly uncertain or disputed. England abounds with folklore, in all forms, from such obvious manifestations as the traditional semi-mystical Arthurian legends and semi-historical Robin Hood tales, to contemporary urban myths and facets of cryptozoology such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor

Morris dance and related practices such as the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance preserve old English folk traditions, as do Mummers Plays.

Most folklore traditions are no longer widely believed. Whereas some folklore legends were formerly believed nationally across the whole of England, most can generally be divided into regional areas of England:

Contents

Folklore of England

Robin Goodfellow is a troublesome elf or hobgoblin. See Robin Goodfellow.

Standing stones and chalk figures in the United Kingdom are the focus for folk tales and beliefs.

Folklore of East Anglia

Folklore of London and the South East

Brutus of Troy is the legendary founder of London.

Gog and Magog are two legendary giants, guardians of the City of London, and participants in effigy of the Lord Mayor's Show for centuries.

Herne the Hunter is associated with Windsor.

Saint Dunstan is the origin of the lucky horseshoe.

Folklore of the Midlands

Black Annis is a blue faced witch who lives in a cave in the Dane Hills of Leicestershire, and who goes out onto the glens at night looking for unsuspecting children and lambs to eat, then hangs their skins around her waist. This legend is of disputed origin, some say it is based on a Fifteenth century hermit called Agnes Scott, while others say it is much older and probably Celtic in origin.

The Wise Men of Gotham (Gotham, Nottinghamshire) represent the tradition of the fool in folklore.

The Derby Ram was a legendary giant ram.

Folklore of the North East

Folklore of the North West

Folklore of the South Coast

Iannic-ann-d, the spirits of those drowned and lost at sea, are said to haunt all Celtic coastlines, especially in the South of England and Northern France.

Folklore of the South West

The Reynardine is a werewolf of Dartmoor who attracts beautiful women to him so that he can take them away to his castle. This legend was popularised by a folk song by the band Fairport Convention.

The legendary founder of Cornwall is Corineus.

Folklore of the West Country

Folklore in song

See also

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