The legend of Childe the Hunter has inspired songs – e.g. one by Seth Lakeman and one in the Baring Gould collection, a MED Theatre play by Mark Beeson, and many storytellers.
Roger Rowle and the Gubbins – the Robin Hood of Dartmoor and his Merry Men? While plays about Robin Hood were entertaining 16th century audiences in Chagford and Ashburton.
One of Dartmoor’s oldest and best-known tales, of Childe the Hunter crawling into his horse’s belly to try to save himself when caught in a moorland blizzard is probably based on a true incident
The story occurs at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Kitty Jay was a pauper girl from Newton Abbot. She was apprenticed out to a household at Canna Farm, near Manator.
The brown hare is now a rare animal on Dartmoor, but it features in several Dartmoor folk tales. It also appears on Dartmoor as a visual symbol, usually on church roof bosses, in the form of three hares in a circle joined at the ears.
Myths on Dartmoor range from those that purport to explain the origins of a landscape feature, such as Branscombe's Loaf (pictured above), to those which echo archetypal themes of loss and remorse, such as the story of Kitty Jay
Adder folklore on Dartmoor makes much of the ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) as offering both protection against adders and a cure if bitten. MED Theatre's Adder (2012) - a dance drama with text by Mark Beeson