Saturday, 1 April 2017

A is for ... Alderley Edge

The area of Alderley Edge in Cheshire, England, is steeped in anchient myths and folklore.

This part of England is said to be the home to King Arthur and his men, who are thought to be sleeping under the sandstone cliffs.
It also has strong links with the wizard Merlin.

The legend of Alderley Edge tells of a farmer who was on his way to market with the aim of selling his horse.
As the farmer passed the sandstone cliffs that make up Alderley Edge, he came across an old man with a long white beard who was wearing strange, dated clothes. The old man asked to buy the farmers horse, but he refused as he was sure he would be able to get a better price if he sold the horse at market
Once the farmer reached the market, however, not a single offer was made on his horse so, feeling rather sorry for himself, he set off back home.
The old man appeared to him again and asked if he could buy the farmers horse. This time the farmer agreed and the old man asked him to follow him through some trees. 
The pair came to the foot of the sandstone cliffs and the old man touched the rock with his staff.
There was a deafening rumble as the rock parted to reveal a huge, dark cavern.
The old man told the farmer not to be afraid and asked him to follow him inside.
Once the farmer's eye adjusted to the dark he was amazed to see that the cavern was full of hundreds of warriors all in a deep sleep, each with their own horse asleep next to them.
The farmer suddenly realised that the old man must, in fact, be a powerful wizard.
The wizard explained to him that all the sleeping warriors were ready to awake and fight for their country, should they ever be needed. He then led the farmer further into the cavern and showed him a large pile of jewels and gold, telling him to take as much as he wanted as payment for his horse.
The farmer picked up handfuls of gold and coins and filled up his pockets to bursting. He then walked back outside and, feeling overwhelmed, took off running for home. 
The cavern closed behind him with a thud and was never seen again.

In the area where this magical tale takes place there is a well. And near this well there is the face of a man carved into the rock, above an inscription which reads:
"Drink of this and take thy fill, For the water falls by the wizard's will"
The date and origin of this carving is unknown.

Could it be one of the sleeping warriors, keeping watch over the land?
Or maybe it's the mysterious wizard himself? 



28 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic tale. I'm familiar with elements of it (the sleeping warriors, the offer for the hourse) but I don't think I've ever heard of this particular tale.

    Thanks so much for sharing :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

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    1. I've also heard many tales and legends about sleeping warriors, but not this exact story. I found the well and carving of a man to add some extra magic to this one!

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  2. Arthur and Merlin are a legend that had spread all over England (and Wales), I wonder what made it such a potent idea that the telling of the tales travelled so far. For once with the farmer's tale, he made it away from magic in the same time and alive, I was half expecting the gold to turn to earth once he left the cave :).
    Great theme,
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

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    1. I can't say I've heard of any folklore relating to Arthur and Merlin in the area of England where I come from (Norfolk), but it does seem to feature everywhere else!

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  3. This story makes me want to visit this place - stories about King Arthur and Merlin are evergreen and ever attractive.

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    1. They are always wonderful, aren't they?

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  4. Qquite an engaging tale. Liked the climax... it makes u believe that there might really been such a wizard after all!

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    1. I like to think he really is the wizard, just keeping an eye on everything. Maybe one day I'll get to go and visit him!

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  5. I love "sleeping king" stories, they have always fascinated me (maybe it's my archaeology training - I would love to find such a cave once :D ). This one is surprising since it actually goes without a hitch for the farmer... I wonder what they needed the horse for :)

    Weird Things in Folktales - Shrew blows nose into snout

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    1. Maybe Merlin had forgotten his and was feeling a fool? That farmer sure was lucky though!

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  6. That's a really interesting tale. I was waiting to see what was going to happen to the farmer...
    That is a good prompt for a continuation of the story. You could really run away with the tale.

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    1. Something bad/unwanted does normally happen. This was one lucky farmer!

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  7. Ahh I love this tale! Could it be true?? Love your theme and will follow along. Good Luck on your A to Z.
    My A to Z is a Goddess' Glossary: A is for Automatic Writing

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    1. I'd like to believe it's true! I'd love to visit one day and drink from the wizard's well :)

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  8. Oh wow! Found your blog on someone else's and I'm glad I clicked on the link. This was amazing! Loved it. It gives me inspiration to write something.

    Just wow. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm very glad you found me too! I hope you follow along for the folklore journey :)

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  9. Nice post! I have always loved fairy tales, and there are so many of them too. History, fairy tales, and legends all have a strange way of overlapping.
    "Female Scientists Before Our Time"
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  10. What a great legend! I'm glad you posted this. It's very cool. :)

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  11. I've never heard this tale before, but of course I knew about the sleeping warriors. Great story!

    Here's my entry for the challenge:

    LINK

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  12. Loved the story, what a great start to AtoZ 2017! Can't wait for more.
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons Blog | AtoZ 2017 - Dragons in Our Fandoms

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  13. That's a fascinating story! What a lucky farmer!
    Looking forward to read more from you this April, Jodie :)

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  14. Wow! I've never heard that story before. Thanks for sharing it!

    Trudy @ Reel Focus

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  15. That is a cool tale! I love the carving too. Adds to mythicalness of it.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  16. Oooh, fairytales! My favorite! I hadn't heard this one before :)

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  17. I love mythology and folklore and I'm enjoying your posts. Great theme.

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