We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Water in Legend and Tradition

— Posted on 24th February 2024

Water in Legend and Tradition: the 18th Legendary Weekend of The Folklore Society

Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2024

St Peter’s by the Waterfront, College Street, Ipswich IP4 1BF, UK

CALL for PAPERS, Presentations or Performances: Deadline 1 July

Cry me a river! The tears of the Virgin would fill a bottomless pool, down to the sunless dragons of the deep. Exorcise thee, creature of water! No foul thing can cross the running stream whose rise predicts famine and war. Dip me in the waters of the Styx before the mermaids can drag us beneath the glassy cool translucent wave. Wash me and comb me and lay me down softly by the rivers of Babylon, a virtuous well where sinners bathe within that flood, good for eyes and warts and brides. I stood on the bridge at midnight when the bathhouse is haunted and the troll sits under the waterfall, paying the ferryman. Though the Washer at the Ford has been conjured into a bottle and cast into the village pond, the Lady of the Lake may yet drown her treasure in the castle moat. Fish foretell in water: the Salmon of Knowledge watches the pins float or fall. A drop from this bottle will bring him back to life again. Three coins in a fountain, brightly painted with roses and castles, dress the holy well whose waters have been transformed into the finest beer: drink and be thankful!

Don’t be a wet blanket, come to our two-day conference on Water in Legend and Tradition, to be held on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September as the eighteenth Legendary Weekend of the Folklore Society, in the medieval grandeur of St Peter’s by the Waterfront, College Street, Ipswich IP4 1BF.

Whether you’re into holy wells or woe waters, hauntings or hydromancy, we’d like to hear from you. Contributions are welcome on eerie ponds, inland mermaids, canal culture, early spas, baptismal customs, lake monsters, and the lore of fords, falls, fountains, floods and fishpools. Anyone can join us – folklorists, healers, hydrologists, bargees, dowsers and storytellers. Presentations, which should be 20 minutes long, can take the form of talks, performances, or film.

The conference fee is £35 for speakers, £70 for others attending. If you would like to attend or to present a paper or performance, please contact, by 1 July: Jeremy Harte, Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF. Telephone: 020 8394 1734. Email: jrmharte@gmail.com