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.
Dragons and their origins
Where did the dragon myth originate, and why are dragon stories so widespread across at least two continents? Carolyne Larrington, Professor of medieval European literature, investigates.
Where do myths, legends and folktales come from?
Mythical tales are well established in English culture. But where do these stories come from? Carolyne Larrington examines the origins of dragons, kelpies, hobs and even the legend of King Arthur.
Explore more stories on our blog
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
Explore the myths, legends and folklore of England
Stay tuned throughout the year as we uncover more tales of English myth, legend and folklore...
9 things you didn't know about St George
St George is the patron saint of England, and subject of one of our most famous legends. But who was he really? Some of these facts may surprise you.
Set in Stone? - Objects of Stonehenge's myths
Explore the objects that tell the story of our ancestors' perception of Stonehenge, from medieval myths and antiquarian theories to the discoveries of modern archaeology.
Lambert Simnel, the Boy King of Piel
On the island guarded by Piel Castle, a 'King of Piel' is still crowned to this day, in a tradition said to originate from the time of Lambert Simnel, a pretender to the throne.
Tintagel Castle and the legend of King Arthur
This ancient island castle is steeped in legend, and said to be the place where King Arthur was conceived.
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.
Explore all 400+ of the historic places in our care, many of them associated with myth, legend and folklore.
More to explore
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.