A book about English folklore

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2008
Can anyone recommend a good book about English folklore? I'm particularly thinking about stories connected to roads and to northern England and the Midlands, preferably post-Medieval.

The historian Ronald Hutton writes about folklore, so it might be worth looking at a couple of his books -- The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year 1400-1700 and The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. I've not read either, though, so I don't know if they cover what you want. (I'm going by an interesting talk he gave last year for The Weald and Downland Museum on folklore, in which I'm sure it was said he's currently writing/about to publish a revised version of one of these.)
It'd probably be difficult to get a laser-tuned book on roads and folklore, but I found this as a two volume set on Amazon:

Might be the sort of thing you are looking for.

Fortean times has had a recent series 'Lincolnshire casebook' which documents quite a few encounters on that places lonely roads, but it's mostly modern stuff. In fact, no doubt, there will be something in my 300-odd pile of Fortean Times, that suits you perfectly - either articles or books that they've reviewed, but trying to find anything by hand will be tough!
You tried Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable? Not as specialised as you want, but not without merit in the situation either.