Byards Leap – Byards Leap, England - Atlas Obscura

Byards Leap

Byards Leap, England

According to legend, this is the site where a blind horse killed a local witch. 

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It has long been said that horseshoes can serve as a protective charm against bad luck. In the village of Byards Leap, however, the four horseshoes fixed into one memorial tell a story that takes this protective reputation to another level.

This small village is believed to be named after a blind horse named Byard. It’s said that Byard, for his blindness, was the only horse not frightened by a local witch’s appearance. This local witch, Old Meg, tormented and blighted the village for many years when a local hero decided to deal with her. Selecting Blind Byard, for his unique disposition, the hero rode to the witch’s lair and attempted to lure her out.

Outsmarting the knight, the witch appeared behind Byard and plunged her dagger-sharp fingernails into his rear. In shock, Byard is said to have lept 60 feet, carrying both the knight astride him and Old Meg, riveted by her nail, behind him. 

On landing, Old Meg landed beneath Byard’s falling hooves and was crushed. To this day, four horseshoes mark the spot that Byard leaped from, and another four mark the site upon which he landed, ending the terror of Old Meg.

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November 7, 2022

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