Illustrated Tales Of Warwickshire is a non-fiction guide to some of the traditions, folklore and famous people connected to the county.
The chapters on folklore and folk customs were some of my favourite ones, particularly tales of supernatural sightings and the Wassailing ceremony. I was also very interested in the history and story behind the Dun Cow and the Wroth Silver ceremony, while I thought that the ambitious Heart Of England tree planting project created by Felix Dennis was marvellous; what an inspiration in a world where so many trees are cut down.
Although this is a short book, I think it would make an ideal gift for anyone visiting the county or who has an interest in reading about some of Britain’s ancient traditions.
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Warwickshire, often known as Shakespeare’s county, has a host of strange and mysterious tales ranging from ancient legends and stories of the supernatural to more modern documented cases. Curious beliefs and customs were once widespread in Warwickshire’s towns and villages, some of which still flourish today.These strange and spooky stories include the quirky death of the Roundhead commander who owned Warwick Castle; the association of the great author J. R. R. Tolkien with the town; the story of the hand of glory obtained at Warwick hangings, and the threshold protection spell widely practised in former times. Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic buildings have witnessed many strange events over the centuries and more recently the Crackley Wood sprite has been sighted at Kenilworth. Other stories include the Wroth Silver at Knightlow Cross; the discovery of the holy grail in a box in Rugby; a violent 800-year-old ball game played annually at Atherstone on Shrove Tuesday; the sightings of a Beast at Barford; the annual wassailing ceremony at Brandon Marsh Nature Centre; and the unresolved mystery of the 1945 murder at Lower Quinton associated with witchcraft, along with other weird tales from the surrounding towns and villages.These strange and spooky stories are accompanied by the author’s photographs of places featured in the text, both present-day and historical, in this hugely entertaining book.