Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pensher Hill Fairies

Pensher hill, now more commonly known as Penshaw Hill, was once said to be a fairy hill where the fairies gathered to bake their bread and cakes. According to 'Legends and Superstitions of Durham' by William Brockie (1886):
"The fairies used to be heard patting their butter on the slope of Pensher Hill, when people were passing in the dark. A man once heard one of them say, "mend that peel!". Next day, going past again, he found a broken peel lying on the ground. So he took it up and mended it. The day after that, when going along the road with a cart, he saw a piece of bread lying on a stone at the root of the hedge, at the identical place, with nice-looking fresh butter spread upon it: but he durst neither eat it himself, nor give it to his horses. The consequence was that before he got to the top of the "lonnin" both his horses fell down dead."
Penshaw hill is now more famously known for the Penshaw Monument, which sits at the top of the hill, and also for its part in the legend of the Lambton Worm. The hill was once also home to an Iron Age hill fort.

Sources and Further Information
Legends and Superstitions of Durham, William Brockie
The Story of the Lambton Worm
Penshaw Hill Hillfort
The Penshaw Monument

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