Strange Encounters: The Horse in British Folklore

Saturday 25 May 2019, 10 – 4.30 pm

Strange Encounters: The Horse in British Folklore 
Museum of Witchcraft & Magic
The Harbour, Boscastle
Cornwall, PL35 0HD

Saturday 25 May 2019, 10 – 4.30 pm


We are very excited to announce that the Face in the Trees will be running a workshop about the folklore of the horse at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic on May 25, 2019 with special guests from the Mari Lwyd tradition, John and Sue Exton.

Our workshops are a combination of folklore, storytelling and creating small silver talismans, exploring and respecting the traditions of the islands of Britain and their place in the landscape. This workshop will cover examples of folklore and tales from all over Britain concerning the important relationship between our ancestors and the horse.

From the secretive practices of the Toadmen to the white horses of the chalk downs there is a diverse and extraordinary tradition of reverence and co existence until recent times. Horses appears in many guises in British myth and folklore, as fearsome kelpies and troublesome ceffyl- dwfr. They created a bridge between worlds, sometimes as a friend, sometimes as a dreaded entity or warning. Our relationship with the horse is deep and rooted in ancient history, a history full of magic and manipulation. They were also companions of the gods.

This workshop will pay special attention to the Mari Lwyd tradition of Wales and its connections with other similar traditions throughout Britain. We are pleased to again have as our very special guests, John and Sue Exton from Monmouthshire. John and Sue a will be talking abut the origins of the tradition and its recent revival alongside an opportunity to observe a performance of a traditional pwnco.

Each person will have the opportunity to make a silver horse talisman under the expert tutorage of Hannah Willow and will receive a booklet concerning some of the folklore and stories of the horse.

The price of the day includes all craft materials but not lunch. Places need to be be booked and cannot be secured until a £40 deposit is paid.

Please contact us at for more information and booking details.


There is parking nearby in the village car park.

Given that there are no refreshment facilities in the museum we will refund each participant £5 to spend in the cafe next door.

Lunch is not included but there is a cafe next door plus tea rooms and pubs close by. Or, you can bring your own and picnic on the harbour!

The Face in the Trees is a collaboration between three people, a collector and researcher of folklore, an artist and a storyteller. We create workshops and events, inviting guests and other experts along to celebrate and learn about different aspects of folklore. Each workshop includes making silver talismans, enjoy storytelling and sharing knowledge and personal experience.

Previous guests have included stained glass artist Tamsin Abbot, folk singer and collector Sam Lee, poet and performer Jackie Juno, John and Sue Exton from the Mari Lwyd tradition and archaeologist Richard Osgood (Digging for Britain and ‘Archaeologist of the Year’ 2019).