In the last blog, we discovered some beasts and beings in part one of the Top Ten Creatures in British Mythology. In this follow-up blog, we’ll find out who features in the top five, and which creature is at number one.
Can you guess before you reach the end? No cheating!
5. Sneakiest: Goblins The word goblin comes from the Greek ‘kobalos’ which means ‘rogue’. Goblins feature in many British myths and legends. They are malevolent beings, meaning they want to cause harm to other beings. In Scottish folklore, there is a type of goblin called a Redcap, which lives on the border between Scotland and England, usually in empty castles. Redcap goblins look for travellers who are lost and invite them to stay the night at their castle. Once a traveller enters the castle, the Redcap will kill him or her and dip its cap (hat) in the victim’s blood. This is why their cap is always red... and we should mention that Redcaps are fast. Don't even try to outrun one!
4. Most Annoying: Boggarts
Boggarts are part of Lancashire and Yorkshire folklore. They are related to bogeymen – evil creatures that cause trouble and steal children. Boggarts often attach themselves to a house. However, boggarts are not as helpful as brownies (see previous blog). In some myths they do housework but mostly, boggarts like to break things, throw objects across the room and slam doors.
If you ever see a horseshoe outside of an English home, it was put there to keep boggarts out!
3. Most Interesting: Selkie
Not many people have heard of this creature. They actually belong to British and Scandinavian Mythology. What is a selkie?
Selkies look like seals in their natural habitat around the coast of northern Scotland. You will see seal colonies there, even today. In myths though, selkies have a special power – they can completely transform into a human when they step onto land by taking off their seal skin.
Stories about selkies often have a sad ending because they fall in love with humans but do not wish to live on land forever. Sometimes, a selkie has to search for his or her seal skin to return to the sea but if they can’t find it, they are trapped on land.
2. Most Fiery: The Welsh Dragon
This fantastic creature is the national animal of Wales. Why a dragon? It comes from the legend of a knight named George, who fought a fierce dragon and won. This is George – say ‘Hi’ George!
The legend tells us of a fierce dragon that kept attacking a village. The villagers sent food, farm animals, gold but the dragon was never satisfied!
In the end, the king sent his daughter to please the dragon (and hoped it would go away). But the princess did not die because George fought the dragon and won. George became the patron saint of England after he died, even though he was born in Turkey!
This has been an awesome journey through British Folklore!
Can you guess which mythical being or beast is at number 1?
1. Most Epic: The Legend of the 'Giants of Albion'
We’ve chosen this legend as number one for two reasons: Firstly, it is an epic story and secondly, it might be true! Did you know that a long time ago, Britain had a different name?
In ancient Greece, there lived a king with 33 daughters. All were married and all except one hated their husbands. The eldest sister, Albina had an idea that they should kill their husbands and be free. But the youngest sister loved her husband, and she told her father of the evil plan.
The king sent 32 of his daughters away in a boat, and they might have died but eventually the boat arrived at a new land. There were no humans there, only animals.
Albina declared herself the Queen of the new land and named it 'Albion'.
But where did giants come from?
The sisters had children with demons and all of those children were giants! The giants ruled Albion for 260 years before the Romans arrived. The Roman Army fought the giants and won. Brutus - the Roman leader - renamed the land Britannia, or Britain.
That is the end of our Top 10 Countdown of Creatures in British Mythology! We hope you’ve enjoyed it. In our webinars on this topic, you'll gain more knowledge of British Folklore that will help you practice these B1 and above grammar points in a refreshingly new context:
Using comparatives and superlatives
Reported speech (and more!)
We hope you have enjoyed this blog. As always, you will progress more by reading, listening and practising your English so make sure you check out IQ Global for free resources and our YouTube channel. See you next time!