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Byards Leap
Byards Leap
Byards Leap
Byards Leap

"Byard's Leap is associated with the activities of the Knights Templar, who perhaps held tournaments and jousts on the site ...

The story, re-told by Ethel Rudkin, states there was a witch called Old Meg, an evil crone who plagued the local villagers from her cave or hut in a spinney near the turning to Sleaford on Ermine Street, here called High Dike.

She was a bane of the countryside and caused the crops to whither.

A local champion, a retired soldier, came forward in response to the villagers' requests, and he asserted that he could kill her by driving a sword through her heart.

To select a horse suitable for this task, he went to a pond where horses drank and dropped a stone in the pond, selecting the horse that reacted quickest, and this horse was known locally as 'Blind Byard', as he was blind.

The champion went to the witch's cave and called her out, but the witch refused, saying she was eating and he would have to wait.

However, she crept up behind him and sank her long nails into the horse who ran, leaping over 60 feet (18 m).

The champion regained control of the horse when they reached the pond, pursued by the witch, where he turned and thrust his sword into her heart, and she fell into the pond and drowned" 

DB 22 February 2020

Byards Leap, witch, horse