Notes - Nine Standards/Helm Wind

"Nine Standards" The nine stone cairns on Nine Standards Rigg, on the Pennines above Kirkby Stephen., the summit of the pennines between the Vale of Eden and Swaledale. Legend says they were built to fool invading scotsmen into thinking an army was encamped there. Indeed the cairns are visible for miles around, and look like 'sentinels in stone'.

"The Helm" A fearsome wind that gathers on the summit of Cross (formerly 'fiend's') Fell, Westmorland, the Highest summit in the Pennine Range. The wind derives its name from the 'helmet' or 'anvil' shaped cloud that forms above the high summit plateau when stormy weather is imminent. The Helm scours the Vale of Eden in a gigantic 'waterfall' of wind, and can do untold structural damage. The Helm usually goes on the rampage in late spring.

"The wind that laid an army low"- According to legend a Norman army was blown off its horses by the Helm Wind at Grasmere long ago, ensuring victory for the locals, who had no cavalry with which to meet the foe on their own terms.

"The Eight Legged Horse" - Derived from the ancient Norse legend of the Wild Hunt, in which one eyed Woden with his ravens rides to hounds on the night wind hunting the souls of men.. (Unbaptised children in later times). The eight legs of the horse, Sleipnir, symbolise the eight winds. In days gone by it was a good incentive for locking ones doors at night!