IX: English Myths and Legends

Hi everyone, in today’s post I will be discussing some of the most popular myths and legends throughout English history. I have listed below five of my favourites and included a few facts about each one. Let me know which one you like the most and why! Also, let me know if I have missed any of your favourites!

An early image of Robin Hood

Robin Hood
– A heroic outlaw who was said to steal from the rich and give to the poor
– Whether or not he actually existed has been debated by historians for centuries
– Stories of Robin Hood first appeared in ballads from the 14th century onwards
– He is most closely associated with Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, England. The Major Oak tree in this forest is said to have been used by Robin and his Merry Men as a hideout!

King Arthur by Charles Ernest Butler, 1903

King Arthur
– A British leader who led Britain’s defence against Saxons in the 5th and 6th centuries
– Became popular through the tales of Geoffrey of Monmouth
– Interpreted by many as a great warrior or a figure of folklore
– His existence is still debated by historians today
– Modern legend states he will one day return to save Britain
– King Philip of Spain once said he would give up his throne should Arthur return!

Bodmin Moor

The Beast of Bodmin Moor
– A phantom wildcat reported to live on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, England
– Gathered attention in 1978 after reports of attacked lifestock
– An investigation was carried out in 1995 and ‘no verifiable evidence’ was found
– Less than a week later a large cat skull was found – an examination confirmed the leopard had not died in Britain

Stonehenge
– A prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England
– Believed to have been constructed from 3000-2000BC
– No written records during construction, so no-one is sure how or why these were built
– Some have attributed the construction of Stonehenge to an astrological explanation
– An early theory is that Merlin built the monument with the help of a giant

A replica of Drake’s Drum

Drake’s Drum
– A drum belonging to Sir Francis Drake
– When he died, he ordered the drum to be taken to Buckland Abbey
– He said if England was ever in danger and someone beat the drum, he would return
– According to legend, the drum can be heard when England is at war or a significant national event takes place

That’s all the stories for today, let me know what your favourite was! For me, I am a huge fan of Arthurian legends but suffice to say when I stumbled across Drake’s Drum, I was sufficiently spooked…

Bye for now,

Lucinda

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