Mind yer head…

A leaf through some of Cumbria’s many annals of folklore could give the impression that Cumbrians have a problem hanging on to their heads.

The Headless Horseman by John Quidor (1858)

The Headless Horseman by John Quidor (1858)

The most famous story is the skulls of Calgarth. The tale isn’t ancient, although it was widely known as early as the mid-1700s. The baddie of the tale is usually said to be Myles Philipson these days, but earlier records point the finger at another Philipson, ‘Robin the Devil’.1 Myles and Robin were both on the king’s side during the 17th-century English Civil Wars; Myles was a JP known to throw his weight about; Robin was a bully best-remembered otherwise for riding his horse into Kendal church in pursuit of a Puritan enemy. Continue reading