Faeries, goblins, elves, giants, and other legendary beings feature in the area’s folklore. Passed down by word of mouth, their stories keep them alive.

Illustration of elves from Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Nights Dream', by Arthur Rackham.

A hive of elves

An old rhyme mentions Elfhole and, as its placename suggests, ties it to local superstitions about elves and fairies.

The Red Ettin, from J Jacobs, 1895.

Edin's Hall home of giants

Was there once a giant causing havoc in these parts? Legends and stories recall a giant living in Edin’s Hall. There was even talk of two-headed monsters.

Photograph of Yester House or Castle.

Goblin sighting at Yester House

During a picnic at Yester House in Gifford, Agnes McGaw recalls listening to a lecturer talk about the Goblin Hall and spotting a mysterious little bearded man, listening in.

Scottish Fairy in a cape and bonnet, holding a long stick from 'Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales’.

Langton House and the fairies

Fairies of Langton House, Duns. Langton House, demolished in 1950, is associated with an old rhyme about fairies who were discovered in the act of uprooting the house to move it west to Dogden Moss:

Lift one, lift a’
Baith at back and fore wa’,
Up and away wi’ Langton House,
And set it down in Dogden Moss.

Whiteadder river bed of coloured cobbles.

Secret passage below the Whiteadder?

Legend has it that the nuns of St Bathan’s Priory, Abbey St Bathans, used an underground passage below the river Whiteadder to get to the church of Strafontane that once stood in this area.

Illustration of a brownie, by Arthur Rackham, 1910.

The brownie of Cranshaws

A brownie is a fairy which appears in of a lot of old Scottish and Celtic folklore. One is supposed to have inhabited nearby Cranshaws Castle and features in this old rhyme.