Telling Tales

THE MYTHS, LEGENDS AND FOLKLORE OF ENGLAND

England’s history is interwoven with the threads of myth, legend and folklore. These stories shape our understanding of our past and our present. 

Join us as we tell tales from England’s past and uncover the history behind them, from St George to sea-monsters, medieval ghosts and buried treasure.

A map of myth, legend and folklore

How many local legends can you name where you live? You might be surprised by the stories right on your doorstep. 

Illustrated by artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and brought to life by Gravitywell, our interactive map lets you explore the myths, legends and folktales of England in your web browser.

Start exploring

Making the map

with Clive Hicks-Jenkins

BRINGING MYTH AND LEGEND TO LIFE

We visited artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and digital experts Gravitywell to reveal how traditional craftsmanship and modern technology were brought together to create the map of myth, legend and folklore. 

The Legend of St Hilda and the Snakes

Whitby Abbey is home to a curious legend. It is said that the curly ammonites that erode from the cliffs there are snakes, which were turned to stone after a local abbess prayed for God to banish them. 

Watch on YouTube
Storytelling festivals

Storytelling Weekends

Join us as we delve into the world of classic writers such as Bram Stoker, Emily Bronte and Charles Dickens over two weekends this summer. 

Our storytelling weekends are taking place at: 

- Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire on Sat 25 - Mon 27 May 

- St Augustine's Abbey, Kent on Sat 6 & Sun 7 July 

Stories

Explore the myths, legends and folklore of England

Stay tuned throughout the year as we uncover more tales of English myth, legend and folklore...

Help us bring England's stories to life

By joining English Heritage, not only will you enjoy free access to 400+ historic sites, discounted event tickets and our quarterly Members' Magazine. You'll also be playing a role in bringing the stories of England's history to life for future generations to enjoy. 

Join today from just £4 per month and start exploring England's historical and mythical past. 

Join today

Places of Legend

  • Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire

    These gothic abbey ruins were the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, and home to the snake-banishing St Hild.

  • Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

    Ancient island castle steeped in legend and said to be the place of King Arthur's conception.

  • More places

    Explore all 400+ of the historic places in our care, many of them associated with myth, legend and folklore. 

More to explore

  • Legendary Holidays

    Stay in the places where myths and legends were made with our deluxe holiday cottages. From Lindisfarne Priory to Dover Castle, enjoy exclusive access to a historic site after it closes to the public.

  • Hand crafted treasures

    Display a beautiful piece of legend in your own home with our collection of reproduction swords and armour inspired by history. 

  • Join us for a legendary summer

    Make this summer legendary with our season of events. Witness Romans clashing, brave knights battling it out in real tournaments, and jousters displaying feats of strength and skill to rival today’s top athletes.

'step into englands story