Latest update: Dec 21st 2021 Hidden East Anglia:
Landscape Legends of Eastern England
ALSO ON THIS SITE:
the biggest collection anywhere of East Anglian legends and encounters with the ghostly hound
the quarterly journal of the
Borderline Science Investigation
(scans in pdf form of Issues 3-40)
a catalogue of just about every 'standing stone', 'mark stone', glacial erratic, odd boulder & strange rock that I know of
an investigation into the origins, legends & locations of the Norfolk Giant
the history, mythology & landscape legends of our first patron saint
burial mounds, old stones, crossroads, pits, remarkable trees, graves,
secret tunnels, beacons, bowers, ponds, earthworks, crosses, effigies,
holy wells, hills,
ancient dykes, churches, pillars, bridges, fields, moats, meres.....
This is a website of Places and Things, and the weird tales that people have told of them. Although ghosts do feature, it's not a tourist's guide to haunted inns and stately homes. Every legend here is firmly fixed to a particular location or object, whether it's a natural feature of the landscape, or one imposed on the landscape by Man.
Growing from an involvement many years ago in the Earth Mysteries field, I've long been fascinated by the way in which folklore and legend attach themselves to both natural and man-made objects. Hidden beneath the skin of the landscape, behind the scenery and the tourist sites, are the bones and blood of tradition. History has mixed with folklore to produce tales of hidden treasure, legendary battles, strange burials, living stones, saints and spirits, devils and demons.
This site is basically a gathering of every legend that I've found in over 40 years of collecting tales throughout my native East Anglia, and through exploring old books, periodicals and manuscripts. Some of the 500+ legends here appear in no books that I know of, while others haven't seen the light of day for decades.
((I've used the pre-1974 boundary of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, thus leaving out Huntingdonshire and Peterborough. For Essex, I've excluded those parts that are now London Boroughs.))
I've visited many of the sites myself, so I've tried to give Ordnance Survey map references where possible. And I always try to give my sources - though some of the tales were collected so long ago that I no longer have any record of where I found them!
Plus, here you will also find antiquarian oddities of the landscape that have no legend attached, and which sometimes have left only a name behind to be of interest.
This site is arranged in four ways:
I'd be pleased to hear from anyone who could add any detail to the stories already here, and especially pleased to hear any new tales connected with the landscape features of East Anglia. For this or any comments you might have about this site, please email me at the address below.
Explore and enjoy!
Website originally published October 2005.