Monday, 3 August 2020

Homage to the Uffington White Horse

The fabulous MOOF magazine issue 8, Summer 2020 arrived over the weekend. The magazine is packed with psychedelia and strangeness. Contents include interviews with Maxine Sanders, Zandra Rhodes and the latest incarnation of Gong, plus fab articles on John Michell and the Earth Mysteries movement, new music reviews and a recommended list of British counterculture literature. Also included is my own homage to the folklore and psychogeography of the Uffington white horse and the surrounding vale, with a wonderful accompanying illustration of the White Horse by Paul Atlas-Saunders. 

You can order MOOF here
Paul can be contacted here

Friday, 17 April 2020

Lien Gwerin 4 now available


Crossing Water by Moonlight              Alex Langstone
The Ringers of Egloshayle                   Merv Davey
Mysteries of the Lizard                        Steve Patterson
Cornish Droll Tellers                           Ronald M. James          
Music in Cornish Folklore                   Kiera Smitheram
Legend of Derwin and Mora               Alan M. Kent
Ghost-Layers and Ghost-Laying         R. Wilkins Rees

Fully illustrated, including work from artists Paul Atlas-Saunders and Tamsyn Swingler

The journal is now available to purchase here:

The Egloshayle Ringers by Salt and Sky.

You can find out more about this folk tune in Merv Davey's article in Lien Gwerin 4


Do you know where Cornwall's only triple hare carving can be viewed? Find out in Lien Gwerin 4

Friday, 3 January 2020

Kresen Kernow donation

I recently had the pleasure of  visiting Kresen Kernow, the brand new Cornish archive centre in Redruth, where I donated a copy of my Cornish folklore title, From Granite to Sea, which explores the folklore and traditions of Bodmin Moor and East Cornwall. It will now proudly sit amongst their other Cornish folklore titles which came before to inspire me.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Pathways to the Past 2019

On Sunday 26th May, I will be presenting material from my recent book From Granite to Sea as part of the Pathways to the Past 2019 event. £5 entry, (CASPN members free). 8pm in the Mayor's Parlour, Old Town Hall, St Just, Penzance, Cornwall. I will have signed copies of the book for sale. 

We are very excited to announce that Lien Gwerin number 3 is now available to order via Lulu print-on-demand. Please click the buy now link below. This service is available worldwide, and the journal will be printed locally and sent out to you within a few days. is our trusted partner in this venture and has a proven track record in quality and great customer service. 

Click here for more details

Friday, 14 December 2018

Boscastle Wassail and Old Christmas

Old Christmas and Wassail
January 6th 2019

Guizing and Wassailing on the harbour side, outside the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. All are welcome to this free event, celebrating some of the traditional Cornish folk-traditions of Midwinter. With Merv and Alison Davey, Alex Langstone and a host of guizers, mast-beasts and musicians.

Friday, 28 September 2018

#ASHMag30 'celebrating diversity and creativity'

It was on the 16th October 1988, that the first issue of ASH magazine was published. The team had been gathered by stalwart Essex earth mysteries researcher and cunning man Dave Hunt. He  began to recruit team members from a diverse source: from Earthquest, the local witchcraft scene, from his own questing group 'New E.R.A' and from the esoteric Christian community. 

The idea was to have a divergent group of people, who would become the editorial team. The magazine was to be run as a cooperative, with no one in overall charge, and it worked. We gathered each month at the Scout Hut in Church Road, Vange, Essex, where we would garner intentions and share our written work, before deciding on what went in the magazine.

L - R. Dave Hunt, Claire Capon and Ian Dawson
 Picture credit: Claire Capon-Hawley

L - R. Jim Kirkwood, Ian Dawson, Alex Langstone and  Dave Hunt
Picture credit: Claire Capon-Hawley

We all had our own ideas and we quickly became an interesting, productive and creative hub. We also attracted some well known names to write for us, and due to the broad subjects we were covering, we had a broader appeal than some of the other counter-culture and earth mysteries magazines of the 1980s.

Many side projects were spawned. Psychic quests manifested, music was written, marsh-magic was conjured and art was created, both out in the landscape and in the studio. A good time was had by the liminal shore.

At the magazine's height, two successive, successful 'Esoterica' conferences were staged, plus a book launch for Bega and the Sacred Ring. It was the time where the seeds of future aspirations were being sown upon the shore of dreams.

The original team were: Dave Hunt, Ian Dawson, Jim Kirkwood, Claire Capon and Alex Langstone, with others joining us later, including Yuri Leitch as illustrator.

Look out for the hashtag #ASHMag30 on social media for more memorabilia.

Artwork by Yuri Leitch, capturing the spirit of the Michael Line Rally, 1991

Jim Kirkwood's striking cover art for ASH no. 9

Thursday, 26 April 2018

From Granite to Sea: illustrated talks

"The Folklore of Bodmin Moor and East Cornwall"
More dates to be added....

Please click on the posters for more details

June 2nd Museum of Witchcraft and Magic Library ~ Boscastle

August 15th Bodmin Pagan Moot, Hole in the Wall ~ Bodmin

August 25th ~ Museum of Witchcraft & Magic, Boscastle

September 12th ~ Perranzabuloe Old Cornwall Society, 
Memorial Hall, Perranporth

To buy the book, click here

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Lien Gwerin 2 now available to pre-order

I am very happy to announce the brand new edition of Lien Gwerin ~ A Journal of Cornish Folklore.

Lien Gwerin 2 contains 52 pages of classic reprints and new interpretation of folklore from across the Duchy. The journal is illustrated throughout and has original articles from Alan M. Kent, Cheryl Straffon, Alex Langstone and Kathy Wallis.

£5 plus shipping.

See here, to pre-order

Monday, 22 January 2018

From Granite to Sea ~ The Folklore of Bodmin Moor and East Cornwall

I am delighted to announce my brand new book about the folklore of Bodmin Moor has been published by Troy Books and is available on their website. There are two wonderful hardback editions to choose from, both with unique cover designs, based on the stunningly beautiful art of Paul Atlas-Saunders. Paul has illustrated the book throughout with gorgeous additional illustrations by Gemma Gary.

Click here to buy from Troy Books website.

Standard hardback edition

Special limited edition hardback
Paperback edition. Cover art Paul Atlas-Saunders, cover design Gemma Gary

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Men Gurta


The towering stone on                      
The ancient downs                                        
The pulsing land crowned                                   
With archaic mounds                                         
The song of the stones is loudest here                    
On the biggest hill,                                         
The past feels near.

The Stone of Waiting, standing proud                   
Its giant form below                                                 
The scudding clouds                                  
An old meeting place,                                
A boundary zone                                                                  
In a landscape of many                             
Upright stones.

The vistas of the compass round                                                 
The highest moorland hills                              
To the east, astound                                                       
To the north and west, 
Lies the rocky shore                                            
In the south, Hensbarrow Beacon                                     
Rises to the fore.

Upon these downs where                                    
Old bones lie                                              
Beneath the earth,                              
Beneath the sky                                              
Where legend and lore                                        
Is close to see but continues                                    
To remain a mystery.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Saints, Demons and Conjurors

Saints, Demons and Conjurors

  Ladock Folklore by Alex Langstone

The village of Ladock lies in the heart of the mid-Cornwall countryside a few miles to the north-east of the city of Truro. The settlement is named after Lodoca, a 6th Century Irish Abbess, who, like so many of her contemporaries, came to Cornwall to set up a religious community. She is thought to have founded her settlement close to the holy well, at Fentonladock. There is an old story associated with her and her neighbouring missionaries, Grace and Probus. One day they all decided that the boundary between their two villages should be formally marked. They would each rise at dawn, and walk towards their neighbour’s settlement, and where they met would be the new boundary. Probus set off at dawn, but Ladoca decided to brush her very long hair before she set off. By the time she had finished, Probus had almost arrived at Lodoca’s settlement, hence the current parish boundaries uneven size.                                                                                                         
Ladock Glebe holy well (pictured left) on the valley floor below the church, is where water has traditionally been collected for baptisms, and this beautiful holy well sits in an enchanting green dell amid oak, holly and beech trees, with the church tower clearly visible on the hill to the south.                                                                                                                                
The village is also home to the amazing tales of Parson Wood, Ghost layer extraordinaire. William Wood was rector at Ladock between 1704 and 1749, a time when many Cornish clergy were involved in lavish exorcisms of demons and ghosts. Rev. Wood was a skilled exorcist, astrologer and occultist and he was kept busy keeping many undesirable entities at bay. He was respected by all his parishioners and was at the heart of village life, being actively involved in the continued survival of traditional Cornish wrestling and hurling. He was the official keeper of the silver hurling ball, and encouraged the game in the parish. When out, the Parson would carry a fancy ebony walking stick. It had a massive silver finial on which was engraved a pentacle, and just below this, on the dark shaft of the stick was a band of silver, engraved with planetary symbols and mystical figures.

Parson William Wood's walking stick by Paul Atlas-Saunders. Copyright 2017.

He is famous for laying many ghosts and devils, and he was usually a match for most demons, whom he would change into animals and dispatch with his whip. However, one of his most famous exorcisms proved to be more problematic. This particular demon took the shape of a terrifying bird like figure that took the church tower as his home. The demon was very large with coal-black plumage and fiery eyes. The feathered fiend, which looked like no known bird, would make a hideous racket, which would bellow down the tower, petrifying the bell-ringers. The Parson was having trouble laying the demon by his usual methods, as he kept hiding behind the pinnacles on the tower, and Wood eventually devised a plan of exorcism using newly baptised children to rid the village of this noisy menace. He gathered nine unbaptised children to the church. Once baptised, the children were presented around the base of the tower along with mothers, who each held their children aloft, whilst Parson Wood walked around them all, muttering and cutting the air in various figures with his walking stick. The fiend eventually took flight, after one last prolonged screech, and he darted straight up flapping his dark and demonic wings, from which fiery sparks and flames of blue were seen billowing, as the demon headed for St Enoder.   The Parson was also famous for foiling an attempt by the Devil to beat local Cornish wrestling hero John ‘Jackey’ Trevail at a clandestine midnight wrestling match on Le Pens Plat Common, and it was rumoured that the devil in question may have been sent by the neighbouring St Enoder witches, who could often be seen flying on their ragwort stems during the time of the full moon or heading home after their midnight meetings in the shape of hares.                   

There is mention of a “celebrated Ladock conjuror”, in Richard Polwhele’s Traditions and Recollections volume 2, 1826. This particular conjuror is reported to have found a man who had fallen into a shaft of Creekbraw’s Mine, using some sort of remote viewing, and was able to recover stolen money by occult means. Was this conjuror Parson Wood? Maybe, but Polwhele seems to hint that it was a different person, with the following passage – 

“In the last age, some of the rusticated clergy used to favour the popular superstition, by pretending to the power of laying ghosts… I could mention the names of several persons whose influence over their flock was solely attributable to this circumstance. By far other means, we now endeavour to secure the good opinion of those who are committed to our care”

So, who was this mysterious “celebrated Ladock conjuror”? I doubt we will ever know for sure, and it is probable that Parson William Wood himself was the source for these anonymous enigmatic tales. 

Recently published in Meyn Mamvro No. 93 Summer 2017.


Stories and folk-lore of West Cornwall by William Bottrell (1880)
Traditions and Recollections volume 2 by Richard Polwhele (1826)