Hidden East Anglia:

Landscape Legends of Eastern England







Landscape Features





Light on the mound


Just to the north of Elm C. of E. Primary School was found, in 1713, an urn containing a small hoard of Roman coins. This would have been at about TF470067, and quite close to a mound (possibly a tumulus), about which the great antiquarian William Stukeley said: "The people had strange notions about it, affirming they frequently saw a light upon it in dark winter nights." Nowadays the area has been mostly flattened and built upon.


Source: William Stukeley: 'Itinerarium Curiosum' (Baker & Leigh, 1776), Vol.1, p.13.





Secret tunnels


Local tales tell of an underground passage from Ely Cathedral (TL541803) to the King's Arms pub (TL540804) in St. Mary's Street. Another, less likely, is said run for nearly two miles from the Cathedral, south-east to Stuntney Old Hall (TL556785).


Source: http://www.wereallneighbours.co.uk/idlechat/message.php?sv=text&id=21996&page=25



St. Audrey's Well:


St. Audrey (also known as Etheldreda - see Exning) died at Ely in 679AD, and was buried somewhere near the present St. Mary's church, which stands a few hundred metres west of the Cathedral. 16 years later her sister Seaxburh (Sexburga) disinterred her apparently incorrupt body and reburied it elsewhere. But at the first site of her burial a miraculous spring welled up which, for several centuries afterwards, was renowned for its healing qualities. One 12th century book describes how the waters cured one man of dropsy (edema), and a woman of blindness. (For another St. Audrey's Well, but without any healing powers, see under Ely in 'Other notable wells & springs'.)


Source: Jeremy Harte: 'English Holy Wells : a sourcebook' (Heart of Albion Press, 2008), Vol.2, p.176-7.