English Fairy Tales And Stories

The country now known as England has a history of settlement by various cultures, including the Romans and the Vikings, spanning back 35,000 years.

It is a land rich in folklore and many of the folk tales have ancient origins. For a rather small country, it in interesting how many of these tales come from specific regions.

We have drawn on a few different sources to create this great collection of classic tales.

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Thumbnail For The Ass, The Table And The Stick
Jack ran away from home and worked for an old woman. After a year and a day he left with her gift an ass, that when it brayed dropped money from its mouth.
Thumbnail For Binnorie
A long time ago, two king's daughters lived near the mill-dams of Binnorie. Sir William came a wooing first for the eldest and then for her younger sister.
Thumbnail For The Bogey Beast
A cheerful, but poor old lady found a big black pot lying in the ditch. Inside she found a trove of gold coins, which then turned into many other things.
Thumbnail For Cap O' Rushes
A rich gentleman, with three daughters, asked each of them how much they loved him. He liked the answers they gave, apart from that given by the youngest.
Thumbnail For The Cauld Lad Of Hilton
In Hilton Hall, lived a Brownie who played many a prank. But, if the servants left a bowl of cream or a cake spread with honey, it would tidy the kitchen.
Thumbnail For Dick Whittington And His Cat
Dick Whittington, an orphan, traveled to London believing the roads were paved with gold. He soon discovered this was not true and he was cold and hungry.
Thumbnail For Earl Mar's Daughter
Earl Mar's daughter brought a dove from the garden to her room. As she prepared to sleep a handsome young man, named Florentine, appeared who was the dove.
Thumbnail For Fairy Ointment
Dame Goody was a nurse, who looked after the sick and also minded babies. One night, a strange little fellow knocked on her door asking her to mind a baby.
Thumbnail For The Fish And The Ring
Once a mighty baron, who was a great magician, foresaw that his son would one day wed a girl from a poor family. So, he threw the baby girl into a river.
Thumbnail For The Golden Arm
Once, a man travelled all the land searching for a wife eventually he married a woman with a golden arm. When she died, he dug her up and stole her arm.
Thumbnail For Henny Penny
One day Henny-penny was hit by a falling acorn and went to tell the king that the sky was falling in. On the way she met many other birds and also a fox.
Thumbnail For Jack And His Golden Snuff Box
Jack lived with his parents in a forest. One day he made his mind up to travel to the town. His mother gave him cakes and his father a golden snuff-box.
Thumbnail For Jack The Giant Killer
Long ago in Cornwall, there lived a farmer who had a son called Jack. At the same time, the Mount of Cornwall was kept by a massive giant named Cormoran.
Thumbnail For Johnny Cake
An old man woman lived with a boy. One day the old woman cooked a Johnny-cake telling the boy to look after it, but the Johnny-cake jumped out of the oven.
Thumbnail For The Laidly Worm
In Bamborough Castle, lived a widower King and his two children. When hunting, he met a beautiful lady and married her, but she was really a wicked witch.
Thumbnail For The Laidly Worm Of Spindleston Heugh
Another version of the tale of a widower King marrying a beautiful woman who was really an evil witch and how she turned his daughter into the Laidly Worm.
Thumbnail For Lazy Jack
Jack lived with his mother, he was so lazy that he would lie in the sun when it was hot and sit by the fire when it was cold. So he was called Lazy Jack.
Thumbnail For The Magpie's Nest
The birds asked magpie how to make nests. She started with mud, then twigs and feathers. They left at various times which is why birds nests are different.
Thumbnail For Master Of All Masters
A girl was hired as a servant by a funny old man. He explained that he had different words for things and that she was to call him 'master of all masters'.
Thumbnail For The Master And His Pupil
A very learned man, who knew many things, owned a book which contained spiritual secrets. He had a foolish pupil, who read the book and summoned Beelzebub.
Thumbnail For Mr Fox
Lady Mary was beautiful and had many suitors, including the mysterious Mr Fox, who she agreed to marry. However, she went to find out the truth about him.
Thumbnail For Mr Miacca
Tommy Grimes did not heed his mother's warnings about Mr Miacca and was about to be prepared for his supper. After escaping, he did not learn his lesson.
Thumbnail For Mr And Mrs Vinegar
Mr and Mrs Vinegar lived in a glass jar. One day, when cleaning, Mrs. Vinegar shattered their home. So, the two set off with the door to buy another jar.
Thumbnail For The Miller's Guest
A hunter lost in the wood found lodging with a miller. The meal he was served was venison from the king's deer. The next day the miller had a big surprise.
Thumbnail For The Miller Of The Dee
There was once a miller, who was the happiest man in England. The sad king, hearing news of him, went to see for himself. Hoping to find out the secret.
Thumbnail For Molly Whuppie
A man and wife could not feed all their children, so left three in the woods. The children found refuge in a giant's house, who soon smelt they were there.
Thumbnail For The Old Woman And Her Pig
An old woman found a crooked sixpence and decided to buy a pig. On the way home, she could not get the piggy over a stile, so asked various things to help.
Thumbnail For The Rose Tree
A wicked woman killed her step-daughter and cooked her heart and liver. The girl was buried under a rose tree, in spring in the flowers was a white bird.
Thumbnail For Tattercoats
In a palace, dwelt an old lord and his granddaughter. He had never seen her, as at her birth his favorite daughter died and he swore never see her face.
Thumbnail For The Three Sillies
A farmer and wife had a daughter, who was being courted. In the cellar drawing beer the girl saw a mallet in one of the beams and imagined terrible things.
Thumbnail For The Three Men Of Gotham
The men of Gotham were rather simple folk. Two of them fell into an argument about sheep, which neither had yet bought, which a third man had to point out.
Thumbnail For The Three Heads Of The Well
An unhappy princess decides to seek her fortune. She shares her food with an old man, who gives her a wand and tells her of the Three Heads Of The Well.
Thumbnail For Tom Tit Tot
After baking five pies, a woman realized the crust was too hard and told her daughter to put them on a shelf 'to come again', meaning to let them soften.
Thumbnail For The Two Sisters
Two sisters were as alike as two peas in a pod, but one was good and one was bad. The good youngest one went to seek work, doing good deeds on her journey.
Thumbnail For The Well Of The World's End
A girl was sent by her cruel step-mother to collect water in a sieve from the well of the World's End. A frog helped her, but she had to make a promise.
Thumbnail For Wise Men Of Gotham
Twelve wise men of Gotham went fishing. On their return, checking no one had drowned one counted them all, but came to eleven as he did not count himself.
Thumbnail For More Wise Men Of Gotham
Two men of Gotham met on a bridge and began to argue about sheep they had not yet bought. How the men of Gotham decided to keep a cuckoo and other tales.

Sources And Further Reading

Project Gutenberg English Fairy Tales by Flora Annie Steel. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham