Folk-Lore of Hertfordshire

By Paula Mumford

Hitchin
HALS
Ware
HALS

A selection of ancient beliefs, charms, customs and proverbs and sayings from around Hertfordshire, extracted from “The Folk-Lore of Hertfordshire” W.B. Gerish.

Beliefs

Bell-rope breaking: If rung after wedding, ill-omen for the couple.

Hare forecasting fire: Hare venturing into town or village said to forecast fire.

CHARMS

Ridge-Tiles (Hitchin): In shape of horses, on gable ends, believed to protect buildings from evil spirits.

King’s-Evil Cure (Offley): Youth cured by religious obervances.

CUSTOMS

Hot-Cross buns: Believed to be connected with the worship of of goddess Diana, at Royston.

Swearing on the Horns: Jocular custom at inns in Hoddesdon and Ware, to secure fanciful privileges

PROVERBS and SAYINGS

Hertfordshire Hedgehogs: Natives so-called because they are reputed to be bad neighbours.

Side pocket for a toad: Alluding to the uselessness of anything.

This publication and many more charting the history of Hertfordshire can be found in the Local Studies Library at Hertfordshire Archives

 

 

 

 

This page was added on 09/08/2012.

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