British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain



One of the most wildly popular Cumberland legends is of 'the luck of Edenhall' - the luck being a beautiful and ornate piece of glassware that now resides safely in the Victoria & Albert museum.  The Musgraves of Edenhall have been its protector and owner since the early Middle Ages but the tale revolving around the glass has grown and changed throughout the centuries.  But the one that stuck is the one where it is a gift from the Fairies.

One night, ages hence, the fairies were drinking and making merry at the well of St. Cuthbert.  They were interrupted in their festive drinking and dancing by some curious onlookers and frightened, they sped off quickly and left the cup behind.  Noticing it, one of the fairies called out to the people, 

If this cup should break or fall,
Farewell the luck of Edenhall.

"Fairy cups" in northwest European tradition were almost always sacred church vessels that got a new origin story attached to them after the Reformation, perhaps to hide what they truly were.  The Luck of Edenhall is no exception.