A toadman or toad-man is someone, in the folklore of the Fens of East Anglia and Lincolnshire, who has made a deal with the devil which gives them control over horses. Stories of toadmen seem to have been prevalent in the region during the inter-war period of 1918 to 1938.
The initiation ceremony, with certain regional variations, involved the initiate catching a male toad, hanging it from a thorn bush or pegging it to an anthill until its bones had been picked clean, and then carrying the bones on their person until dried. The bones were then thrown into a running stream on a full moon at midnight and all except one would be swept downstream. The remaining small fork-shaped bone when recovered would, through unspecified means, grant its holder psychic control over horses.
Cambridgeshire is a ceremonial, historic and non-metropolitan county in the East of England government statistical region, and popularly known as one of the three counties of East Anglia. The largest city is Peterborough, followed by the county town of Cambridge.
The Fens, also known as the Fenlands, in eastern England are a naturally marshy region supporting a rich ecology and numerous species. Most of the fens were drained centuries ago, resulting in a flat, dry, low-lying agricultural region supported by a system of drainage channels and man-made rivers and automated pumping stations. There have been unintended consequences to this reclamation, as the land level has continued to sink and the dykes have been built higher to protect it from flooding.
Wisbech is a market town, inland port and civil parish in the Fenland district in Cambridgeshire, England. In 2011 it had a population of 31,573. The town lies in the far north-east of Cambridgeshire, bordering Norfolk and only 5 miles (8 km) south of Lincolnshire. The tidal River Nene running through the town is spanned by two road bridges. Wisbech is in the Isle of Ely and has been described as 'the Capital of The Fens".
The Isle of Ely is a historic region around the city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. Between 1889 and 1965, it formed an administrative county.
Soham is a town and civil parish in the district of East Cambridgeshire, in Cambridgeshire, England, just off the A142 between Ely and Newmarket. Its population was 12,336 at the 2021 census.
Ramsey is a market town and civil parish in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England. The town is about 9 miles (14 km) north of Huntingdon. Ramsey parish includes the settlements of Ramsey Forty Foot, Ramsey Heights, Ramsey Mereside, Ramsey Hollow and Ramsey St Mary's.
South Cambridgeshire is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 162,119 at the 2021 census. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Chesterton Rural District and South Cambridgeshire Rural District. It completely surrounds the city of Cambridge, which is administered separately from the district by Cambridge City Council.
Wicken is a small village on the edge of The Fens near Soham in East Cambridgeshire, ten miles north east of Cambridge and five miles south of Ely. It is the site of Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve.
The English county of Cambridgeshire has a long history.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by RKO Radio Pictures and directed by Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney and James Algar with Ben Sharpsteen as production supervisor. The 11th animated film in the Disney Animation canon, it consists of two segments: the first based on the 1908 children's novel The Wind in the Willows by British author Kenneth Grahame, and the second based on the 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by American author Washington Irving.
Cottenham is a village in Cambridgeshire, England. Cottenham is one of the larger villages surrounding the city of Cambridge, located around five miles north of the city. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 Census was 6095. Cottenham is one of a number of villages that make up the historical Fen Edge region in between Cambridge and Ely, which were originally settlements on the shore of the marshes close to the city of Cambridge, then an inland port.
Wicken Fen is a 254.5-hectare (629-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Wicken in Cambridgeshire. It is also a National Nature Reserve, and a Nature Conservation Review site. It is protected by international designations as a Ramsar wetland site of international importance, and part of the Fenland Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive.
Holme is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Holme lies approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of Peterborough, near Conington and Yaxley. Holme is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. The parish contains the lowest point in Great Britain, 2.75 metres (9.0 ft) below sea level.
Chittering is a hamlet about 8 miles (13 km) north of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire, England. For administrative purposes it is part of the parish of Waterbeach. The population of the hamlet was included in the civil parish of Bottisham at the 2011 Census.
Stonea Camp is an Iron Age multivallate hill fort located at Stonea near March in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Situated on a gravel bank just 2 metres above sea-level, it is the lowest hill fort in Britain. Around 500 BC, when fortification is thought to have begun at this site, this "hill" would have provided a significant area of habitable land amidst the flooded marshes of the fens. The site exhibits at least two phases of development over several hundred years of settlement, with a D-shaped set of earth banks surrounded by a larger, more formal set of banks and ditches.
Rampton is a village in Cambridgeshire, England, situated on the edge of The Fens six miles to the north of Cambridge.
Soham Wet Horse Fen is a 33.8-hectare (84-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest east of Soham in Cambridgeshire. A 3.6-hectare (8.9-acre) field in the north-west corner is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire as Soham Meadow.
Ely is a cathedral city in the East Cambridgeshire district of Cambridgeshire, England, about 14 miles (23 km) north-northeast of Cambridge and 80 miles (130 km) from London.
A lantern man is an atmospheric ghost light described in the folklore of The Fens of East Anglia, with sightings around Wicken Fen and other areas. According to the stories, first collected by folklorist L.F. Newman, the lights are believed to be evil spirits who attempt to draw victims to their death in the reed beds. Newman writes that the spirits are attracted by the sound of whistling, and that a way to evade them is to lie face down on the ground with your mouth in the mud. The phenomenon, which seems to be a variation of will-o'-the-wisp folklore, is now dismissed as sightings of combustible marsh gas.
Enid Mary Porter was a collector of folklore in Cambridgeshire and the longest serving curator of the Cambridge & County Folk Museum, now the Museum of Cambridge, working from 1947 to 1976. Her work was invaluable in recording the cultural and social practices of people in Cambridgeshire; she was innovative in the discipline of social history collection, employing working practices such as oral history, and engaging with people in areas that had previously been overlooked by folklorists. Her notebooks, now in possession of the Museum of Cambridge, hold a treasure-trove of information about Cambridgeshire customs, stories and songs.