"Where trumpets rang and men marched by, none passes but the dragonfly" - Mary Webb

The Fox's Knob

fox's knob The name "The Fox's Knob" was in use as early as 1784 and is a sandstone rocky outcrop at Hawkstone Park & Follies. You may know the stories of Reynard, they are told throughout these Northern Lands. They tell of his wile and cunning, but also of his skill and nobility.

Even in death, he had the last laugh on those dullard hounds. Reynard was old, his speed had slowed and his stamina was failing. He was very aware that it was only a matter of time until the hunt would catch him. He could, of course, try to avoid the chase, but he knew they would be back again and again until they ran him down and stole his brush. He must have the last laugh on these red devils.

That day, as he heard the yapping hounds and the wailing horns, he knew his time had come. He lured them on, and then ran, and as he ran he felt young again. He led those hounds a merry dance over rolling hill and down dank valley. He was tiring when he saw Hawkstone ahead and quickly decided what his future should be. He ran straight as a dart for the hill top, slowing to allow the hounds to snap at his heels. Right to the edge of the cliff he ran, and onward. The huntsmen would have no pleasure from this kill. Falling, falling he looked around to see he had taken some of his pursuers on their last journey too.

Alas, poor Reynard lay dead at the bottom of the stark, red cliff. A sad end? But no. He left a large family; all taught well, who hold his banner high and live with his memory.

Legend says that King Arthur once lived nearby and a good many stories support this.

king Arthur Two giants, Tarquin & Tarquinus, lived at the Red Castle (the ruined tower "Giant's Well" is named after them). Their brother, Sir Caradus, was a great fighter. He used to tour the country kidnapping knights and holding them for ransom. When King Arthur's knights Lancelot and Tristram heard he'd captured their fellow round-tabler Sir Gawain, they decided to take action. When they caught up with Sir Caradus at Killyards near Weston Church, Lancelot and Caradus set to in an epic battle in which, after much time and effort, Lancelot came out triumphant and Gawain was set free.

In another story, the giants Sir Edward and Sir Hugh are resident at the castle. They cheat a lady and then imprison her on the "Raven's Shelf" (another sandstone rock abutment). Another of Arthur's knights, Ewaine, decides his next adventure will be to free the "Lady of the Rock".

He tries diplomacy and invites the giants, Edward and Hugh to talks. Alas, when the meeting takes place the giants bring 100 fighting men with them. Ewaine, ever feisty, says he will take them all on, but the lady forbids such a foolhardy venture. Ewaine compromises by challenging both giant brothers to a battle. Five hours later, although wounded, Ewaine kills Sir Edward and Sir Hugh surrenders and agrees to give the lady her liberty and her money back. He also promises to go to King Arthur and make a lasting peace. - Visit the official website of Hawkstone Park

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