Tales of the Surrey Hills

As I walk in the Surrey Hills, I am always amazed at the variety of stories that there are about the place. Some of them come down from history as facts. Some of them are remembering of things that did happen but perhaps not exactly as told. Some of them are stories that people made up to try to understand the landscape. Historians and folklorists have recorded these stories in books but have intended them for adults and not for children. As a storyteller, I feel it’s important that children and families have a chance to read and tell these tales for themselves. So that as they walk the Surrey Hills, they can look in the landscape for the giants, dragons, winged horses, magic fish, the odd witch or two, even the devil, not to mention the flying pigs!

I have chosen eight stories that I have researched, told and retold in schools in Surrey and I know that they are popular with children who are surprised to hear that these stories are set so close to them in real places that they can visit. I have tried to be faithful to the recorded versions so I haven’t strayed too far from the original story or included in too many new things.

I have also included a new story about something that happened to me while I was preparing these stories just to illustrate how stories are a remembering of things that happen, but not exactly as told.

I am grateful to Matthew Alexander, John Janeway, W.H.Chouler and Eric Parker for their previous work in collating the stories in their different collections. However there are even more stories out there just waiting to be told and retold, and some just waiting to be made up!

Permission is granted to tell and retell these stories.

Janet Dowling
Story Teller

Matthew Trigg and the Pharisees
St Martha and the Dragon
The Flying Pig of Whitmoor House!
Old Mother Ludlam and the Frensham Cauldron
The Giant Sisters
The Magic Pike
William Cobbett and the Red Herring
The Dragon at West Clandon
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