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Myths, Magic & Legends of Ancient Britain
Since ancient times, Great Britain & Ireland have been amongst the most significant countries in the world for Magic, Myths, Ghosts and Legends. Whether it is ancient Celtic civilizations, Stonehenge or Avebury, Druid priests or alternative pre-Christian religions, Banshees or Mermaids, King Arthur, Merlin or Tintagel, Haunted Houses & Castles, Ghosts or Fairies, ( Faeries) Ley Lines or Crop Circles, Witches or Warlocks, Unicorns or Dragons, prehistoric ancient Gods and Goddesses, or modern day Harry Potter or Shadowmancer Tours, Britain & Ireland is THE spiritual home of ancient Myths, Magic and Legends.
If you are interested in this fascinating other world, our site can point you in the right direction to find out more about
a specialist travel and tour operator to assist you.
Legend meets the present in Great Britain... on the English
flag, the Red Cross of St George, the legendary knight who
slew the fire breathing dragon of a mystical past, and the
proud dragon of the Welsh national flag.
When it comes to myths, magic and legends, Great Britain and Ireland
have it all... ancient islands, steeped in ancient myths, fables,
legends and history.
Almost every town, city and village in Britain has its own
secret history, be it Celtic legends, the magical Druids,
King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin the
Magician, Camelot, Dragons and Unicorns, sea monsters and
fairies, mermaids, silkies & banshees, crop circles &
ley lines, folk tales and folklore, ghosts, goblins and leprechauns,
haunted houses, mysterious mazes and ancient holy wells, Stonehenge,
ancient Romans & pagan blood rites, witches and wizards,
magic... its all here...
An ancient Celtic civilisation... The Celts were
the first true people of Britain, settling mainly in what
is now northern England, Scotland and Wales. Their ancient
priests and sorcerers were known as Druids. Most famous of
Druidic monuments is probably Stonehenge (although mystery
surrounds the dating of Stonehenge, as it apparently pre-dates
the Celts by perhaps 1,000 years). Close by is the mystical
and ancient Avalon in Glastonbury, the legendary home of King
Arthur & Camelot. In nearby Winchester are the famous
Winchester Cathedral & the legendary Great Hall of King
Arthur and the Round Table.
The brooding & ancient ruined castle of Tintagel on the
south-western tip of England in Cornwall is also steeped in
Arthurian legend, reputedly being the birthplace of King Arthur.
In the ancient and charming town of Bath are the famous Roman
Baths (reputedly discovered by Bladud, father of Shakespeare's
King Lear, before 500BC) where the local Celts dedicated the
springs to their God, Sul. Ireland is also rich in Celtic
and Druid history, with the legacy of the ancient Druids
still existing all over Ireland in areas such as Galway, one
of the Druids main ports-of call.
Away with the Fairies... The study of the Fairy-Faith
is of great importance, philosophically, religiously and historically.
Within the ancient Faery Faith lie the beginnings of much
of European religions and philosophies. Founded on more than
folklore, this faith is one of the keys to understanding the
mysteries of Celtic mythology. The Celtic people brought faeries
to English, Welsh, and Irish mythology. The old English words
faery, fairy, faerie, fay, fey, fae, all come from the old
French words fée and féerie, and faery includes one or all
of the supernatural beings of the magic land of Faery. In
Ireland, leprechauns (a type of faery) are the subject of
much folklore. Of interest - the word glamour means a spell
or "enchantment" placed by a supernatural being (usually a
faery) over a human.
|"When the first baby laughed for
the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces
and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning
Peter Pan (JM Barrie)
Ghosts & Hauntings... It was a natural that
Britain was the setting for the hugely successful Harry Potter
books and movies. With over 150 castles alone with their own
resident ghost(s), it's natural that the story of the young
apprentice wizard was created in Britain, a country that is
rich in superstitions and tales of ghosts and hauntings.
Given its turbulent, ancient and bloody history, it is no
wonder that Britain has, per square mile, the most highly
documented & recorded history of ghosts and ghostly sightings
in the world. There appears to be much behind the legends
and ghostly myths also. Whilst many of the more ancient ghost
stories and traditions seem to stem directly from historical
events and word of mouth, in many cases these old stories
have been kept alive by modern sightings and eyewitness accounts.
Crop Circles... Regularly reported phenomena in
Great Britain, crop circles still remain a mystery. This puzzling
and mysterious phenomena, intricate symbols that seem to appear
out of nowhere in crop fields in southern England still appears
regularly, always invariably overnight. While many crop circles
have been put down to elaborate hoaxes, many still remain
Many people believe in ley lines... and Britain
is rich with ley-line mythology. Ley lines are described as
lines of earth power, directly linking in a straight, unbroken
line the ancient sites of pagan places of worship. Many Norman
churches & cathedrals were built on these ancient original
pagan worship sites, and along with burial chambers, stone
circles, standing stones and other places, are recognised
as natural sources of ancient power by ley line believers.
"Silkies" are well entrenched in Celtic legend...
Also known as selkies, selchies, kelpies, roane and seal people,
there are haunting and evocative legends and folktales of
these creatures that could shift between seal and human form
by removing their sealskins. Stories of the silkies come from
Cornwall, Ireland (especially from Donegal county), and Scotland
(in particular the west coast and the northern islands of
the Orkneys, Shetlands, and Hebrides). It is still a major
belief in Ireland and parts of Britain that a child born today
with a "caul" over its face, is born with the magical ability
of a silkie.
Mermaids... As with silkies in Ireland, Mermaids
are also an entrenched part of mythology in Britain. Historically
there has been a belief in part fish, part human creatures
for thousands of years. The first mention of these creatures
was God Oannes, the lord of the waters who was worshipped
by the ancient Babylons. Whilst there are several other sea
creature deities, the mermaid in Britain is most likely also
derived from Celtic legend. Interestingly enough, there has
been an enormous amount of mermaid folklore passed down over
many centuries. A mermaid sighting is believed to be a very
bad omen, with storms, rough seas, possible shipwreck and/or
death to follow. There is a wealth of supporting folk tales
describing their relationship with humans, with supposed sightings
as recently as the 19th century particularly around the coastal
areas of Cornwall and the Northern Isles of Scotland.
As well as legendary powers to grant wishes, mermaids in
folklore have also been known to intermarry with humans, with
their children reputed to having some powers of faery. Several
legends also take mermaids from the sea, to haunt rivers and
pools, such as Mermaids Pool below Kinder Downfall in Derbyshire
and Black Mere, near Leek in Staffordshire.
Screaming like a banshee... Rich in Irish folklore,
the banshee is a truly chilling supernatural creature, reputed
to be the ancestral spirit appointed to warn members of certain
ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to
tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families
- the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys
and the Kavanaghs - but marriage between families has allegedly
further extended this select list.
Whatever the origins of the banshee, she supposedly appears
in one of three guises: a young woman, a middle aged matron,
or a very old ugly woman - a hag. The banshee also can appear
as a washerwoman, apparently washing the bloody clothes of
those who are going to die. In this guise she is called the
bean-nighe (washing woman). The banshee is also said to appear
in a variety of animal forms - a hooded crow, stoat, hare
and weasel - animals associated in Ireland with witchcraft.
The most terrifying aspect of the banshee is her mourning
call, heard mostly at night when someone is about to die.
Legend has it that in 1437, King James I of Scotland met an
Irish seeress or human banshee, who told him of his future
murder at the hands of the Earl of Atholl. Documents exist
showing human banshees, prophetesses or seeresses attending
the great houses of Ireland and the courts of Irish kings.
In the area around Leinster, she is called the "bean chaointe"
(keening woman) whose wail is so piercing that it shatters
Dragons, Unicorns, and other assorted mythical creatures...
Unfortunately (to our knowledge!), none have been sighted for the past hundred
millennia or so. However, given the enormous amount of folklore
surrounding these mythical and wonderful creatures, a rich
background of myth and legend exists in Great Britain and
Ireland to personally explore the folklore behind the legends.
UK Travel Search Directory: The best in Myths
and Magic for Great Britain & Ireland.