English Folklore

Ref: C2342635

British folklore is a complicated blend of storytelling, superstition, habit and custom that has its roots in practices that went on well before recorded history. Indeed, many of these fascinating ideas are still existent – and, in some cases, even believed – to this day. Whilst some stories and customs are quaint, others are disturbing or bizarre, demonstrating more clearly their connection to a pre-Christian environment. This course aims to provide an overview of some such traditions, and will attempt to give insights into why those beliefs and customs may have evolved in the first place, as well as looking at how they survived into later centuries. In particular, we will examine beliefs and customs around two fundamental principles of the British landscape - its waterways, lakes and seas, as well as the the agricultural farming background of the majority of the population.

Course aim

This course aims to explore some of the key elements in traditional English folklore, featuring on festivals and old customs. Although these traditions have typically become part of the Christian calendar, their roots are far older and more obscure.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate some insight into links between some Christian and pre-Christian festivals.
  • Briefly describe pre-Christian beliefs regarding water and its spiritual properties.
  • Briefly explain pre-Christian beliefs regarding agricultural work & activities.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

English Folklore

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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