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Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Old Nick across the Isles

The Devil's Bridge

Location: Thorpe (Yorkshire) - Dibble's Bridge, Yorkshire Dales National Park
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Bridge still present
Further Comments: In a rare moment of generosity, the Devil built the bridge for a local shoemaker who had shared a drink with him.

Moved Again

Location: Thriplow (Cambridgeshire) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Church still present
Further Comments: The village folk wanted their church in a hollow by their homes, but the Devil had other plans, and moved it to the hill.

Contest

Location: Tidenham (Gloucestershire) - The Broadstone, between village and Woolastaston
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: The Devil and the giant Jack o'Kent had a stone throwing contest - the Devil's stone landed here, while Jack's landed way over the River Severn, winning him the game.

Swift Nick

Location: Tilbury (Essex) - The World's End inn
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: An old highwayman, Swift Nick has a habit of relighting fires which have gone out hours beforehand.

Knight Meeting with the Devil

Location: Tolleshunt Knights (Essex) - Moot (or Moat) Field
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Twelfth Century
Further Comments: Local legend recalls a knight who wished to build a house a mile away from the field. The devil came each night and pulled the house down, until the knight agreed to erect the building closer to the field.

A Woman Scorned

Location: Torbay (Devon) - Daddyhole (or Daddy Hole) Plain
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Scorned by a knight, a woman invited the warrior and his new love to meet here. The woman murdered the couple, and as a storm developed, the Devil appeared and took the murderess into a nearby hole (presumably to hell).

Kings

Location: Totternhoe (Bedfordshire) - Five Knolls (barrows)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Barrows still present
Further Comments: There are seven barrows at Five Knolls and legend has them contain former kings. During a seventeenth century witch trial, local woman Elizabeth Pratt claimed to have met the Devil at the site.

Stone Thief

Location: Towednack (Cornwall) - Church tower
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The tower's shortness is explained away by the story that Old Nick turned up each night during construction and knocked down the day's work. The builders finally grew tired of the conflict and put the roof on at the height is now.

Quoits

Location: Tredinnick (Cornwall) - Lanivet (or Lesquite) Quoit
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The capstone of this dolmen was thrown into position by the Devil whilst playing quoits.

Daffyd Ddu

Location: Tremeirchion (Clwyd) - Churchyard Wall
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Former vicar and black magician, Daffyd made a pact with the Devil to take his soul 'whether buried in the churchyard or out'. Needless to say, the wizard cheated Old Nick by ensuring his body was buried under the boundary wall.

Thor the Rock Thrower

Location: Treyford (Sussex) - Devil's Jumps (set of five barrows)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Barrows still present
Further Comments: The god Thor would sit on nearby Treyford Hill. One day the Devil came along and, in a fit of boredom, started to hop from one barrow to the next. This childishness annoyed Thor, who scared Old Nick off by throwing a rock at him.

Marshy Bells

Location: Tunstall (Norfolk) - Church, and marsh known as Bell Hole (and Hell Hole)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Devil once appeared in the village, stealing the church bells and sinking them into the nearby marsh. Bubbles in the marsh were said to be the result of the bells continuing to sink into the bottomless pit.

Devil Summoning

Location: Urquhart (Moray) - Deil's Stanes
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: To run around this stone circle three times at midnight will bring forth the devil.

The Devil Can't Hide

Location: Veryan in Roseland (Cornwall) - Round cottages in the village
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The round cottages found in the village were built thusly so the devil could not conceal himself in the corners. A cross was also placed in all the roofs, guaranteeing that he could not carry them away either.

Moving Head

Location: Walcot (near Digby) (Lincolnshire) - Stone house (no longer standing)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This house was built out of stones from the ruined Catley Abbey. A carved stone head which was incorporated into the building was said to move every night, until the house was demolished.

Satan's Stone

Location: Walton Hill (Fife) - Stone on a roadside close to a farmhouse
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: Satan and Samson had a stone throwing contest. The Devil's stone landed on the roadside, while Samson's travelled further, shattered on impact and the rubble used to make a barn.

Devil Summoning

Location: Weobley (Hereford & Worcester) - Churchyard
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown - traditional
Further Comments: Anyone reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards whilst walking around the large cross in the churchyard will call upon the Devil.

Dropped Tower

Location: West Walton (Norfolk) - St Mary's Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Church still present
Further Comments: Attempting to steal the bell tower, the Devil dropped it shortly after flying off. The tower landed a few dozen metres away, where it still stands.

Satan Takes a Town

Location: Whitstable (Kent) - General area
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Whitstable was founded after the Devil tried to steal the buildings of Canterbury - he was caught, and dropped the stolen houses eight miles away, where they stayed.

Storm

Location: Widecombe-in-the-Moor (Devon) - Parish church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: October 1638
Further Comments: A terrible storm descended on the village during a church service - the sky turned black, a ball of fire entered the church, and parts of the tower broke away. Several people died, including a man by the name of Jan Reynolds who some claimed was taken away by the Devil on horseback as punishment for falling asleep (or playing cards) during the sermon.

Thrown Stone

Location: Williton (Somerset) - Battlegore tumulus
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Battlegore was the landing site of a stone thrown by a giant from West Quantoxhead, competing with the Devil. Old Nick's rock fell short, resulting in his banishment from the area.

Drop and Run

Location: Willoughton (Lincolnshire) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An old folk tale states that by dropping a pin through the keyhole of the church and running around the building seven times, the Devil will be met.

Clawed Stone

Location: Winceby (Lincolnshire) - Boulder near area known as Slash Hollow
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Moved to the side of the field in 1970
Further Comments: The stone was finally buried by a farmer, who dug a hole next to the boulder and pushed it in. A failed previous attempt had resulted in the Devil appearing who scratched the stone with his claws. The stone was believed to have been placed on top of treasure, however when the stone was finally moved to one said, no treasure (or Devil) was found.

Frozen Figures

Location: Winterborne Abbas (Dorset) - Nine Stones (stone circle)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The stones are said to be either children (or maidens) who were petrified for dancing on the Sabbath, or the Devil, his wife, and his children.

First and Last

Location: Woolacombe (Devon) - Morte Point
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: N/A
Further Comments: The peninsula was the cause of many shipwrecks and locals would say it was the place that 'God made last and the Devil will take first'. A well on the point was said to cure poor eyesight.

Records 201 - 225 of 231

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