Released: April 2015
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
The folklore and folk tales of the British Isles make for an endlessly fascinating study. A glorious confusion of ancient beliefs has evolved over the millennia thanks to the many different races that have settled here. In England they have included Stone Age and Bonze Age tribes, the Iron Age Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Norsemen and Normans.
Into this cultural melting pot have been thrown any number of superstitions and half-remembered tales of cultural heroes, some real, some mythical, and many a mixture of both.
Our ancestors lived very different lives to those we enjoy today. Most were tied to the land and had an intimate relationship with the seasons and the natural world. Few had travelled further than their nearest market town; many had never even strayed that far from the rustic landscape they knew so well.
Nevertheless, their seemingly limited existence was coloured with an awareness of another world, one where supernatural beings lived alongside them just out of sight; where illness or death could be brought about not by microbes but by witchcraft; where familiar landmarks took on mystical significance. Heroes and villains from a past age lived again in dramatic legends told down the generations, while neighbouring communities were ridiculed by village wits, who invented tall tales about their idiocy and gullibility.
In this book you will be introduced to just a taster of the legends and folklore which enlivened the days and nights of Wiltshire country folk a century or more ago. You will learn strange superstitions about the county’s celebrated ancient monuments; meet the Moonrakers, a flying monk, wicked highwaymen and even wickeder witches; encounter kings and knights, saints with magic powers, and the Devil, rather more frequently than one might wish. Fairies too appear and ghosts, like the infamous Demon Drummer, lurk among its pages.
The folklore of Wiltshire paints the county as a wonderfully magical place.