All posts tagged: legends

St Frideswide

Frideswide and the treacle well

The Saxon princess-abbess-saint Frideswide was not the founder of Oxford: there was certainly a settlement at the confluence of the Cherwell and the Thames well before her time. But she has a claim to be one of the founders of the idea of Oxford, the notion of the city as a nexus of learning, religion, and occasional miracles.

A place called Rollendrich

In the region of Oxfordshire there are great stones disposed as if by the hand of man. But at what time, or by what people, or for what memorial or significance this was done is not known. However that place is called Rollendrich by the local people. (Historia Brittonum, 9th century)

Round table, infinite sphere

Meanwhile at Camelot King Arthur held a feast at Easter: but before the knights of his court would be seated at the long table in the hall, a great strife broke out between them as to where they should sit – for they counted it a greater honour to be near the head of the table than near the foot. ‘We shall amend this at Pentecost,’ said Merlin when he heard of the quarrel. ‘On that day I will set a table here in the hall which shall be the centre of the glory of Logres, a table whose fame shall live while the world endures.’ […] They came at last to the banqueting hall, and there Merlin awaited them, standing before a great round table of wood and stone which filled it almost from side to side. ‘Hail, King and Queen of Logres!’ cried Merlin. ’Your places wait you at the table, and seats also for one hundred and fifty knights – the Knights of the Round Table. Upon every siege – for so …

Silent Pool 1

The ‘legend’ of Silent Pool

The visitor information board at the twin chalk ponds of Silent Pool and Sherbourne Pond states: ‘There are many thoughts on how Silent Pool got its name and one of them is the legend of Emma, a woodcutter’s daughter who is said to have been bathing in the clear water when she was disturbed by a lecherous horseman.

crushed cars Digbeth

Crushed car catafalque

Towards the end of the Breakdown era, the catafalques of local chieftains became grander and more permanent. This example, discovered in what was once the Digbeth district of Birmingham, commemorates Sandra Zeinab O’Malley al-Brum, leader of the belligerent and short-lived Warks-Motorway Caliphate.