Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Fairy Steps

A path that has been trodden for hundreds of years passes through this limestone fisure known as the Fairy Steps.
The legend is that if you can climb the steps without touching the sides then you will see a fairy and they may if asked grant a wish (although I would be wary as fairies are notoriously tricksy). I think only a fairy would be able flutter up here and accomplish this task as not only does it narrow in there is also a high step in the middle that requires leverage unless one has extra long legs. In past times this was the old coffin route between Arnside and Beetham and the iron rings through which ropes were threaded to haul the coffin up are still visible.  There are many coffin or corpse routes throughout Cumbria as although there were many churches in remote areas only certain ones (the mother church) held burial rights so the corpse had to be transported, sometimes long distances across wild country, and of course they all have legends of fairy folk or devils associated with them.  From Arnside to Beetham I would guess the distance would be about five miles and it is wooded and not  particularly wild or exposed (depending on the season)  but manoeuvring a coffin would certainly slow one down. Apart from not touching the sides of the Fairy Steps it is said that if you have the second sight then you will be able to see them.
Fairies looking through a Gothic Arch (1864) by John 'Fairy' Fitzgerald
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at F here 


Leslie: said...

FASCINATING story and it would be FUN to try it. When on the Isle of Man I was told I had to say hello to the fairies as we crossed a particular bridge (for good luck) so I obliged - just in case! lol

abcw team

Melody Steenkamp said...

Lovely photo's... always want to believe in fairy's...wich makes a hard day a little softer ;-)

Have a nice abc-day / - week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Hildred said...

Love the photos, and the stories are very appealing.

Anonymous said...

Must have been a hard job to maneuver a coffin through that narrow pass! Great story, Joy!

carol l mckenna said...

Delightful post and lovely photos of the 'fairy steps' ~

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Roger Owen Green said...

You just can't trust fairies.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for this beautiful legend! That'what I like in England and many other old countries: there is a lot of mystery and history.
Have a great weekend.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place to explore. The last shot says it all.

Villasappho Liesbeth said...

Well at least the path has a happier feeling towards it then coffins. What a special story it is!

ABCWT Liesbeth