Myths, Legends and Miscellany
As well as being renowned for it's natural assets, this part of the world has many tales to tell. In addition to Arthurian, Roman, Celtic and Norse history...there are other more recent stories worth a second glance. I've also included a poem "The Raffles Merry Neet" which is believed to have been written before 1780, it's in local dialect - and shows even 200+ years ago, a night out can get out of hand.
Giant's Grave, Penrith Said to be the burial places of Ewan Caeserius, a 5th Century King of Cumbria and noted slayer of monsters, men and beasts.
Emma and Sir Eglamore of Aira Force The waterfall has its own legend which Wordsworth writes about in the poem, The Somnambulist. The hunting lodge was home to a girl named Emma who was engaged to a knight, Sir Eglamore. His long absence while fighting affected her mind and she fell into a sleepwalking trance and wandered along the path near the waterfall. The returning knight spotted her and made the mistake of touching her, which awakened her from her trance. Startled, she slipped and fell into the water, drowning before he could save her. Wordsworth relates:
"The soft touch snapped the thread
Of slumber--shrieking back she fell,
And the Stream whirled her down the dell
Along its foaming bed."
Broken hearted, Sir Eglamore lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a cave near Aira Force.
Stenkrith - the Devil's Mustard Mill. Hidden away amongst the trees near Kirkby Stephen is a deep gorge carved by the River Eden here are the strange circular holes hollowed out over the centuries by pebbles swirling in the current. One of the most popular myths has it that these were used by the devil to mill his mustard (English I hope).
The Lost Villages - Mardale and Burton.
Haweswater and the Kings of Mardale: the ancient settlement of Mardale was flooded in the '30's to provide water for Manchester, the "kings of mardale" were the Holme family, descended from Hugh Holme who fled here in 1208 after being involved in a conspiracy against the King.
A medieval archway in Warcop churchyard is one of the only reminders of Burton, a small village with a hall and farmsteads, which was taken over by the Army during WW2.
Eden Holidays - Holiday Cottage, Appleby, Eden Valley, Cumbria