JR Archery

Myths and Legends

Duration: 4 x 60'

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This fantastical series goes in search of forgotten fables, mythical mysteries and lost legends from Dracula to the Loch Ness Monster. 

Over four episodes, media personality Jonathan Ross travels across Scotland, England and Wales looking for evidence of forgotten beasts and relics from historic folklore. This series follows him hunting for the famous mythical creatures and legendary characters including Dracula, Vampires, Witches, Dragons, Giants, Dungeons, Merlin and King Arthur!

Along the way, Ross seeks the help of modern day witches, herbalists and archaeologists as well as actor Michael Sheen and fantasy author Neil Gaiman to learn more about these timeless tales.

Episode 1: Northern Route

Jonathan Ross travels across northern England to uncover local myths and legends.  

At the start of his journey, Jonathan discovers what inspired one of the most enduring modern myths of all time – Dracula, visiting many of the locations described in the book and learning about the record breaking event at Whitby Abbey, where the most ever “vampires” were gathered together in one location.  

He then travels up the coast to learn about the Hobs, mythical cave dwelling creatures with healing powers, before heading inland to Mother Shipton’s Cave; the legendary home to a herbalist and seer who predicted the end of the world.  

After having a go at mixing herbal potions himself, Jonathan takes the heritage railway to historic Haworth venturing onto the moors – a landscape seeped in tales of the supernatural and inspiration for the Bronte sisters to write some of our greatest literature, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.  He visits their home, “The Parsonage” to find out more and then heads back out onto the moors at night to meet Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to find out the scientific truth about Willo-the-Wisps.  

Hitting the road again, Jonathan ends his journey in, “the hanging town” where he learns about the burning time, the persecution of supposed witches, venturing into the castle dungeon where a family accused were held captive in appalling conditions and then taking part in a ceremony to honour and remember them.

Episode 2: Welsh Route 

Jonathan Ross explores Wales, a wild and magical country filled with stories of hidden monsters and intriguing legends.  

Beginning his journey by steam train up Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales, he learns how the Dragon became the Welsh symbol and discovers that the mountain itself has its own creation story, being the burial site of Rhita the giant.  

Next to the historic town of Conwy, Jonathan meets Welsh musicians Gwyneth Glyn and Twm Morys, whose song tells the legend of a terrifying creature that inhabited the rivers and lakes here – a beaver-crocodile called the Afanc before travelling to Beddgelert and the grave of Gelert, whom the village is named after.  Gelert, was a faithful hound of legend, who having saved his master’s baby from a wolf was tragically blamed and killed.  

Jonathan travels further south, visiting the imposing Harlech Castle, the setting for one of the oldest Welsh myths, the tragic story of Princess Branwen.  

Stopping off for some traditional Welsh Rarebit, Jonathan then meets his friend, actor Michael Sheen, in the Brecon Beacons, to find out about the lady in the lake.  

Jonathan’s journey ends learning about one of the oldest figures in legend, the “Green Man”.

Episode 3: Scottish Route

Jonathan Ross visits the Isle of Skye and Scottish highlands to hear about the local myths and legends. 

He begins meeting his friend, the author and Skye resident, Neil Gaiman, who tells how the Isle is seeped in myths and legends and is a source of inspiration.  

Jonathan visits Dunscaith Castle which, internationally renowned Gaelic singer Anne Martin explains, was the home to one of Skye’s legendary warrior queens, Scathach.  

On the mainland Jonathan meets with a traditional Gaelic story-teller, who tells him about Kelpies - mythical water horses that inhabit the lochs and lure travellers to a watery doom and then goes on a monster hunt, in search of Scotland’s most famous mythical creature – Nessie –with blind explorer Amar Latif and meets a man who has dedicated his whole life in search of the elusive beast.  

Ending his journey at Castle Cawdor, Jonathan discovers its associations with Shakespeare’s most supernatural play Macbeth and learns about the Castle’s myths and legends from Lady Cawdor herself.

Episode 4: Southern Route 

Jonathan Ross visits the South-West of England in search of local myths and Legends.  

He starts his journey at Tintagel Castle, where legend says King Arthur was conceived and meets archaeologist Win Scutt to find out whether there is any truth in the story.  Beneath the castle, Jonathan ventures into Merlin’s Cave, where he meets Michelle the “Wyse Witch of Cornwall” and performs a ritual with her, honouring the elements before heading to Slaughterbridge, the location of King Arthur’s last battle and an intriguingly inscribed stone – further possible evidence that King Arthur may have really existed.  

Jonathan ventures into the woods of Luxulyan Valley with a local folklore expert in a hunt for Cornish Piskie’s and their more malevolent cousins, the Spriggins, then heads deep underground in to the Geevor Tin Mine looking for gnome-like creatures known as Knockers.  

Crossing Bodmin Moor, Jonathan learns about one of our more modern myths, the Beast of Bodmin and examines the evidence of its existence before dropping in to visit one of his Hollywood Heroes, Brian Froud, artist and designer of creatures in fantasy movies like the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.  

Journey’s end is in Glastonbury where Jonathan picks-up once again the story of King Arthur, visiting the Abbey where he is reputed to be buried and then making the arduous trek up Glastonbury Tor, where at the top he meets an “Earth Priestess”.

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