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28 October 2014
Legacies - Stoke and Staffordshire

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Myths and Legends
John Wyclif and friars
John Wyclif on his sickbed in 1378

© Mary Evans Picture Library
The Lollards: Dawning star of the Reformation?

Lud’s Church is a beautiful, geographical folly, set deep in Staffordshire’s Black Forest, where a foible in rock formation has resulted in a narrow chasm stretching down 50 feet. As is often the case with wonders of the natural world, a collection of tales has developed around it, and it is the tale of a group of medieval, religious radicals that concerns us here.

Legend has it that a group of Lollards used to hold clandestine, religious services in the cave, one of which led to their imprisonment and death. Though popular in verbal currency, written accounts of the tale are scarce. However, one such account reveals how the tale of the Lollards in Lud’s Church was revived and refashioned, after the Reformation. The refashioning reveals how the newly formed Church of England, lacking history of its own, appropriated the Lollards in order to bestow legitimacy upon their new faith. More...

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Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

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Reformation and reform
Wyclif and the Lollards 1376-99
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