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From: "Sharon Bunter" <>
Subject: RE: [CHS] The Wizard
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 08:30:55 +0800
In-Reply-To: <000b01c2c492$0804d940$5e2cfc3e@panrix>


Hi Alison.
Absolutely fascinating, thanks for posting this.
The "theme" is also taken up by Alan Garner in his book "The Weirdstone of
Brisingamen" which was read to me as a child, we then went on a school trip
to Alderly Edge and the landmarks of the story were pointed out to us. I
particularly remember the "large slab of stone" which was marked and is the
stone leading the caves containing the sleeping knights.
best wishes,
Sharon in Perth, Western Australia

-----Original Message-----
From: Alison Dellar [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, 26 January 2003 12:42 AM
To:
Subject: [CHS] The Wizard


Someone on the list was asking about the legend of the Wizard - I found the
folowing on the Derbyshire Caving Club Website:

This page contains an extract from "Cheshire Gleanings" written by William
E. A. Axon and published in 1884. The quotation is verbatim. Following it is
the poem about the Wizard that appears in "Alderley Edge And its
Neighbourhood" written by the Honourable Miss Louisa D. Stanley (published
in 1843, reprinted 1972). Axon used the story told in Miss Stanley's book as
the basis for his version. I have added a note on the places referred to in
the text.
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"Connected with Alderley Edge there is a curious tradition which preserves a
very ancient fragment of mythological belief, and is, therefore, worthy of
notice.

"The legend of the wizard of Alderley Edge first appeared in print in the
Manchester Mail of 1805, by a correspondent who obtained it from the
narration of a servant of the Stanleys, whose proper name was Thomas
Broadhurst, but who was better known as "Old Daddy." According to this
veteran the tradition says that once upon a time a farmer from Mobberley,
mounted on a milk-white horse, was crossing the Edge on his way to
Macclesfield to sell the animal. He had reached a spot known as the Thieves'
Hole, and, as he slowly rode along thinking of the profitable bargain which
he hoped to make, was startled by the sudden appearance of an old man, tall
and strangely clad in a deep flowing garment. The old man ordered him to
stop, told him that he knew the errand upon which the rider was bent, and
offered a sum of money for the horse. The farmer, however, refused the
offer, not thinking it sufficient. "Go, then, to Macclesfield," said the old
man, "but mark my words, you will not sell the horse. Should you find my
words come true, meet me this evening, and I will buy your horse." The
farmer laughed at such a prophecy, and went on his way. To his great
surprise, and greater disappointment, nobody would buy, though all admired
his beautiful horse. He was, therefore, compelled to return. On approaching
the Edge he saw the old man again. Checking his horse's pace, he began to
consider how far it might be prudent to deal with a perfect stranger in so
lonely a place. However, while he was considering what to do, the old man
commanded him, "Follow me!" Silently the old man led him by the Seven Firs,
the Golden Stone, by Stormy Point, and Saddle Bole. Just as the farmer was
beginning to think he bad gone far enough he fancied that he heard a horse
neighing underground. Again he heard it. Stretching forth his arm the old
man touched a rock with a wand, and immediately the farmer saw a ponderous
pair of iron gates, which, with a sound like thunder, flew open. The horse
reared bolt upright, and the terrified farmer fell on his knees praying that
his life might be spared. "Fear nothing," spoke the Wizard, "and behold a
sight which no mortal eye has ever looked upon." They went into the cave. In
a long succession of caverns the farmer saw a countless number of men and
horses, the latter milk-white, and all fast asleep. In the innermost cavern
heaps of treasure were piled up on the ground. From these glittering heaps
the old man bade the farmer take the price he desired for his horse, and
thus addressed him: "You see these men and horses; the number was not
complete. Your horse was wanted to make it complete. Remember my words,
there will come a day when these men and these horses, awakening from their
enchanted slumber, will descend into the plain, decide the fate of a great
battle, and save their country. This shall be when George the son of George
shall reign. Go home in safety. Leave your horse with me. No harm will
befall you; but henceforward no mortal eye will ever look upon the iron
gates. Begone!" The farmer lost no time in obeying. He heard the iron gates
close with the same fearful sounds with which they were opened, and made the
best of his way to Mobberley."
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The poem in Miss Stanley's account:
The Wizard of Alderley Edge.

Who is he ? -- He
Who, beneath the Holy Well
Where secrets dwell,
Can tell
Where the Iron Gates are hid :
Who, when the time is ripe, will bid
Them to expand and show
Their treasure heap,
And, striking with his wand,
Awake from sleep
Steeds and an armed band,
The which for England's safety 'tis decreed
Will issue forth when in her utmost need :
He, who on the heights of Alderley awaits
The coming of the day :
He, who is seldom seen by mortal sight,
And seen, seen only in the gloom of night
On Milk-white steed :
He is the Wizard, whom the Fates
Have bid to do the deed,
Strike with his wand the Iron Gates,
And wake the armed band!




Best Wishes
Alison
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