Peterborough Folklore

Peterborough Folklore

The city of Peterborough lies at the boundaries of four ancient counties (Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire), a location that has led to the area being ignored by folklorists. However it has an exceptionally rich folklore, which was among the earliest documented in England, by the poet John Clare (1793–1864).

This is the first dedicated study of the tales, customs and traditional lore of Peterborough and its environs. Peterborough is rich in medieval legends, from glimpses of ancient beliefs shrouded in the pagan past like the ‘Wild Hunt’ seen in 1127, to unwise dealings between abbots and the devil, and strange reports of miracles. However, traditional beliefs lingered in the ‘City of the Fens’ well into modern times. Peterborough Folklore offers a fascinating insight into the historic beliefs and culture of the city’s inhabitants. It features holy wells, unofficial folk saints, colourful local festivals, unquiet revenants, ghost-hunting vicars, the ever-present fear of witchcraft – and much more.

Peterborough Folklore has been shortlisted for the Folklore Society's Katharine Briggs award 2018 for the best folklore book of the year.


More about the author Francis Young

ISBN 978-0-9933069-7-6
Publication September 2017.
156 pages, 234 x 156 mm, including many illustrations, some in colour.
Notes, bibliography and index.