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Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire

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The history of Poulton Le Fylde gives some interesting insights into customs and the lives of those living in Poulton.


The last day of October was, until quite a recent period, celebrated in the neighbourhood of Poulton by the lighting of bonfires, and the night was always known as " Teanlay " or "Teanley" night.
Mr. Thornber has given a graphic account of what may have taken place on these occasions ; but the details require confirmation before they can be accepted even as a tradition. He writes, that on the " Hardhorn oblong cairn, ceremonies were observed for the purpose of securing health to the herds of the farmers in the township to free the wheat-land from tares, weed, &c. to bring good luck to the votaries, and to enquire into the secrets of futurity. The ceremony was thus : first, large fires were lighted, two or three families joining at a circular cairn, the ashes of which were carefully collected. Then the white stones, which at first had circled the fire, were thrown into the ashes, and being left all night, were sought for with anxious care at sunrise, when the person who could not distinguish his own particular boulder was considered, i.e., some misfortune would happen to him during the course of the ensuing year. As a finale, the stones recognised were thrown, as an offering, on the oblong cairn to the god or saint who presided over it and the well, and thus such collections were made in a succession of years as to astonish the curious. The water of the wells also had a sovereign virtue for healing diseases of men and cattle. Fairy well is even yet visited for such a purpose. To succeed in obtaining a cure, however, the patient, escorted by his friends, was made to pass through the cairn, then he was sprinkled or dipped in the well, and lastly, he made an offering of a shell, a pin, a rusty nail, or rag, but principally three white stones burnt in the Teanla fire. It is surprising in what numbers pieces of iron may be picked up. I have found since the meadows were ploughed, nails, an old shaped knife, leathern thongs, &c. The site of the large circular cairn is not now easily to be distinguished, since Mr. Fisher, the proprietor of the field, has carted away upwards of twenty loads of the refuse that composed it, but the soil around is burnt red and black. This farce was carried on in its pristine glory long after the Reformation; for rational Christianity, which had been almost lost previously, progressed but slowly in the district of the Fylde." - Hist. Soc. of Lane, and Chesh., vol. iv. p. no. [1]


This was applied to Christmas Day, as people on that day came to Poulton to purchase meat for the coming festival.


This singular term was applied in the last century to the dance or performance gone through by the village lads at Easter; now known as " Pace-egging."


A gala day marked the close of the getting of marl. According to Thornber on this occasion a lord and lady were elected to preside at the feast, who were previously drawn out of the marl pit by a strong team of horses decorated with ribbons, &c.


A small stone through which a hole was bored, being attached to the stable key preserved the horses from witches.


On this day all onion seed had to be sown, or it was believed the crop would be a failure.

This book also gives detailed family historical information With an index at the back of all names in the book.

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