Bard of Cumberland

Stephen G. Rae, contemporary artist and poet; performance artist and co-founder Bardsea-Green Films; folklorist and storyteller as the Bard of Cumberland.


I’m a Hedge Druid and Bard. The Bard within Druidry is the poet; the keeper of tradition; the keeper of historical record; the poet; the storyteller; and musician. One must never offend a Bard. This writing from Lady Wilde explains why :

“Bards possessed strange and mystic powers of wisdom. It was therefore very dangerous to offend a poet. If anyone refused him a request he would take the lobe of the person’s ear and grind it between his fingers, and the man would die.”

The Hedge Druid is someone who walks the Druid path, for the most part, alone. The Hedge Druid is someone who ‘rides the Hedge’ – travels between this world and the Otherworld.

My interest in storytelling and folklore started in my youth, in Ayrshire. Tales of the sea people, boggles, kelpies, and sea-witches. In 2003 I moved to Cumbria, three years of studying Fine Art in Carlisle, before moving to Ulverston in 2006. Since living in Cumbria, I have been researching the folk tales of my adopted county, an area rich in folklore – boggarts, vampires, faeries, and the strange monsters that lurk in the depths of our lakes and tarns.