Folktales and Legends of Warwickshire

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Who knew? Once upon a time, at Hessloch near Odernheim, a servant and the cook of a clergyman were living together as man and wife — but their newborn baby would not grow or gain weight. The mother was told to go to Neuhausen and give her baby water from the Cyriak Spring.

It was believed that a visit to this spring would either restore the child back to health, or he would die within nine days. To cut a long story short, on route the infant became heavy and monstrous, and a traveller yelled out that the woman was carrying the devil on her back. Throw this monster into the brook! When the mother arrived home, she found her baby healthy and laughing in its new cradle.

And that dear readers, is just one way the changeling can strike.

Colin King

According to the legend, Morbach is the last place a werewolf was killed, around A single candle burns in the village as a reminder, but also as a warning. One night the candle went out and a wolf-like figure was spotted standing at a US airbase.

He stood, staring at the soldiers before returning to the forest. The candle was re-lit, and has never gone out since. According to the townsfolk, if the candle ever goes out the werewolf will return. The Rosstrappe is a craggy hill in the Harz mountain range in Central Germany.

7 Myths and Legends You'll Only Hear in Germany

The story goes that Princess Brunhilde was fleeing a forced marriage to Bodo The Giant, who chased her to the cliff edge. Once upon a time, in the deepest corners of Southern Bavaria, there reigned a tyrannical king named Watzmann who enjoyed slavery and hunting local peasants. One day after a bloody day of killing, a curse was cast upon him and his family. The well-known and much loved story of The Pied Piper luring rats away from the city with his sweet song has darker origins than the classic tale — a tale that can be traced way back to the Middle Ages.

According to legend, in the small town of Hameln in Lower Saxony, masses of children disappeared at the same time without trace. But every morning the stone was found lying in the grass having somehow turned over in the night. Deciding that the stone was more trouble than it was worth the farmer managed to return it using only a single horse to pull it up the hill.

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Another common element in megalithic folklore is the idea that it is impossible to accurately count the number of stones at a site. There is a story from Rollright about a baker who placed a loaf of bread on every stone in order to count them correctly, but no matter how he laid them out, he always found one stone without a loaf in the end. The third motif connected with megaliths is that of 'drinking stones'. It is said that the King Stone and the Whispering Knights go down the hill at midnight to drink from a spring in Little Rollright Spinney.

Unfortunately, the recent history of the Rollright Stones, now owned by the Rollright Trust, has been far from pleasant. Over the past few years, the stones have been repeatedly vandalized. What provokes such acts is unclear, but George Lambrick, chairman of the Rollright Trust charity, has said that they are now considering "installing some kind of CCTV system here to deter further attacks.

Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

Legends & Folklore The Peak District

We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers. Become a Member. Haughton, B. Legends of the Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Haughton, Brian. Last modified May 11, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 11 May This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

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Bibliography Burl, A. Yale University Press, Burl, A. Rites of the Gods. Cadmen, W. Camden's Britannia. Facsimile of edition with maps by Morden. Evans, A. Grimsell, L. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. Lambrick, G. The Rollright Stones. Oxford Archaeological Unit, Manning, P.