Captain Fitzroy Hollyhock of the Royal Fairy Navy is a somewhat flamboyant character in almost every sense. There is no doubt of his historical existence as the fairy register of births list him as being the son of Peter and Rosemary born in the Warkworth Realm on 6th April 1734. The problem of accuracy however comes in the authenticity of his exploits the most notorious of which was the circumnavigation of Pegswood Treacle Pond. Historical records show that he did indeed live in this house but because of the dubious nature of his adventures no pine cone decoration is displayed on the door frame.The house is currently occupied by a fairy family who wish to remain anonymous.
Fairy Fisher Folk
People have often asked me about Fairy Fisher Folk but, as far as I aware, there are none residing in the Warkworth Realm so I cannot include their distinctive boat doors in this study. Anyone wishing to see such a door should explore the nearby villages of Amble or Craster where Fairy Fisher Folk are more populous.
In the early days No.2 Cobweb Cottages was secured in the old fashioned manner with locks, bolts and bars, but now magic is the preferred method of security.As for the occupant, Mrs. Baxter, she is frail now and her wings barely carry her to the well at the end of the row. It was not always so however for in her youth she was a renowned beauty and had her portrait painted by the great Arthur Rackham himself.
(Original photograph suppied by Mrs Baxter shows her house as it was in 1907)
Most fairy dwellings are underground with only the door itself visible on the surface. Sometimes however fairies will make use of an old tree stump to fashion their house. There are certain fairy building characteristics that are peculiar to this type of construction. Oak stumps are the preferred timber, chosen for its resistance to weathering.The more observant among you will have perceived that the ridge of the house is shaped like a bone. In the past real bones were used as ridge supports now however timber is more universally used but its shape still reflects its ancient origins.
It is said if you find a stone with a hole all the way through it and hang the item at the entrance to your house its magical properties will fend away goblins. Few fairies today believe in goblins yet within the entrance to many fairy dwellings today the tradition is still kept alive. This house, at the edge of the great mint forest, is one such dwelling.
The photo on the left has been used with kind permission of the Ragwort Family the occupants of the above house.
Most fairy doors are constructed in situ not so however the door shown on the right. Although it was constructed in Warkworth (hence its inclusion here ) it is now far to the south in another fairy realm. This kingdom is ruled over by a queen of whom it is said could sing so sweetly that even the nightingale fell silent to listen to her song. One winter morn when a white mantle covered the land and the milk froze in the dairy-maid's pail there came a loud persistent knocking at the fairy door and ......
Local Archaeologist In Line For Top Award
The fairy outside this door is Dr. Ivy Growswell archaeologist and collector of antiquities. It is said she has the largest collection of grasshopper skulls in the Northern Realms. Dr. Growswell is however chiefly renowned for her discovery and conservation of the 1st century mosaics at "Heddon Doonthepub". It is this work that has recently resulted in her nomination for the prestigious pine cone award.
1st Century Mosaic
Image on the right is part of the 1st Century mosaic uncovered by Dr. Growswell earlier this year.
Now You See Me - Now You Don't
Many readers will be puzzled as to why this door is left open and unattended on such a cold Winter's day. Surely this also leaves the place open to attack by vermin.The more observant reader however will notice a pine cone decoration on the door lintel signifying its historical importance.
Although the door was built here in Warkworth it now graces the front of the buildings of Catchfly McNabbit. The McNabbit premises were the first place in Scotland to manufacture invisibility juice so the door is not unattended after all. The situation is now clear, simply one of the workers is just trying out the latest batch of the product -so far it seems to be working fine.
Planing to visit old friends? Don't forget those all important
Buy The Best From Bean & Gone
The occupant of number 5 Lavender Crescent is a somewhat accident prone individual especially when it comes to spells.It is rumoured she once turned her bicycle into a back street.
These Warkworth business premises are the firm of
Warp Speed Ltd.
A long established firm producing top of the range, high speed flying carpets. In recent years the firm has branched out into flying laminate flooring but unfortunately success in this new venture has yet to take off.
Warp Speed Ltd.
When silence teases soft this forest place
And lamas moon the limelight be
Do fairy footsteps lightly grace
This stage with players, verse and tree
From an anthology entitled
" Warkworth Fairylore and Verse"
Collected by Violet Byrony
A number of people who have read the "Spells" page of this website have asked about Madame Ruth's shop. This photo shows the outside of the premises at 34, Vine Street. All manner of spells, powders, potions and charms are on sale here, some however may require an age verification certification for purchase. Madam Ruth regards her own speciality as love potions and, although many have suggested her produce is somewhat pricey, everyone agrees the results are well worth it .
Ground floor interior of Madame Ruth's shop.
Following the creation of this article Madam Ruth has kindly offered readers the following free love spell from her 1894 collection. The spell is best recited at midnight after the consumption of two glasses of red wine and is designed to retrieve a flagging relationship. The spell consists of the following words :-
SAVED, AKOLE, VOTOV, ELOKA, DEVAS
Readers will observe that, like many spells of a similar subject, the words are the same forwards or backwords and if a square was made from the words they can be read up and down as well. It is this mathematical symmetry of the text that gives the spell its potency.