Alderley Edge

The other day I was in Cheshire for my cousin’s wedding (it was a wonderful day by the way, and the reception was held at a Tudor manor-house which, disappointingly, turned out not to be haunted), and rolling through that county on the train, I got to thinking about Alderley Edge.

The Edge is an escarpment that rises high above the Cheshire Plain; it is honeycombed with old copper mines, and these days is owned and maintained by the National Trust.

It first came to my attention through the work of Alan Garner, especially his book The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, which is set in and around the Edge, and was inspired by a local legend about a farmer who, taking a white horse to market, met a strange old man on the road.

The old man asked to buy the horse, but the farmer refused. So the old man told him:

“You will find no one willing to buy her today.”

And indeed, when the farmer arrived at the market, many admired the white mare, but no one would buy.

Returning home disappointed, the farmer found the old man where he had left him, by the woods near the Edge.

He led the farmer to a rock face, where great iron gates suddenly appeared and swung open, and within there lay caverns where a large company of warriors slept, and all but one had their own white horse, sleeping beside him.

The stranger then told of how they awaited the day of a terrible battle, when England would be threatened, and they would ride out to her defence.

The farmer now gladly took the offered money, and beat a hasty retreat, the gates shutting behind him; and to this day, no one has been able to locate them again…

Though the original account does not name the characters, successive versions have identified the old man as Merlin, and the leader of the sleeping warriors as King Arthur, the Once and Future King…

File:The Death of King Arthur.jpg

The Death of King Arthur, James Archer

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6 thoughts on “Alderley Edge

      • Thanks Bia – hope all’s well with you! So far I have just the one (e)book out, The Witch of Glenaster, which is available on Amazon. I ordered your book by the way, but they keep saying it’s been delayed! Can you shed any light?

      • Hey great, I’ll definitely be getting that 🙂 There shouldn’t be a problem with the book if you ordered it direct through Amazon (if you used a different vendor who uses Amazon to sell through then you’ll have to ask them what is going on as I’ve no idea about them, sorry.) My advice is to cancel your original order, place a new order again. I reckon that will work. let me know if you still have a problem and I will get in touch with Amazon and eat them for breakfast. 🙂

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