Story Sources - Cornishibai downloads

Federation of Old Cornwall Societies has a good selection of source texts online

Old Cornish Story Collections


  • William Borlaise. 'The Age of the Saints', 1893 Joseph Pollard
  • M. and L. Quiller Couch, 'Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall,' 1894, 1994 Tamara Publications
  • G.H Doble, 'The Saints of Cornwall, 1964 The Holywell Press, Oxford


  • 'Three Aurthurian Romances - Poems for Medieval France' translated by Ross G. Arthur. 1996 Dent

Cornish Story Retellings

  • Margaret Balfour 'The Vanishing Mayor of Padstow' 1938
  • Shirley Climo 'Piskies, SprIggans and other Magical Beings' 1981  Thomas Crowell, New York
  • Sarah L Enys 'Cornsih Drolls' 1931 Mayflower, Plymouth
  • Ruth Manning Saunders 'Peter and the Piskies' 1958 OUP

 Recent Cornish Story Collections

  • Anna Chorlton 'Cornish Folk Tales of Place' 2019 The History Press
  • Mike O'Connor 'Cornish Folk Tales', 2013 The History Press
  • Mike O'Connor 'Cornish Folk Tales for Children'  2018  The History Press
  • Mike O'Connor ' Isles of Scilly Folk Tales ' 2020 The History Press
  • Mike O'Connor ' Fools and Wise Men' 2022 The History Press   contains many Cornsh tales
  • Eric Quale and Micheal Foreman, 'The Magic Ointment and other Cornish legends', 1988 Picturemac Macmillan reissued as Cornish Tales in 2012
  • Donald R. Rawe ed. 'Traditional Cornish Stories and Rhymes', 1992 Lodenek Press
  • Margaret Caine and Alan Gorton 'Footloose in Cornish Folklore', 2005 Cotswold(Quality)Leisure ltd.
  • Lucy Wood 'Diving Belles' 2012 Bloomsbury

 Local Interest

  • 'A Looe Ditty-Box', London and Scarborough 1924
  • Wilson MacArthur, 'The River Fowey', 1948 Cassel
  • Peter Moor and Martin Lister, 'Liskeard Town and About', 1988 Tamara Publications
  • Mike Dunn, 'The Looe Island Story', 2005 Polperro Heritage Press
  • Peter Moore and Martin Lister, 'The Good Looe Story', 1997 Peter Moore Publications
  • Charles Causley, 'Collected Poems 1951-1975', 1983 Papermac, Macmillan
  • Jason Higgs, 'Haunted Bodmin Moor', 2012 The History Press

Cornish Folklore

  • Ronald M James 'The Folklore of Cornwall' 2018 University of Exeter Press
  • K Jones , 'Folklore of a Cornish Village', 2004 Oakmagic
    M.A Courtney, 'Folklore - Legends of Cornwall', first pub 1890, reprinted 1989 Cornwall Books
  • M A Courtney Cornish  Folklore in the FolkLore Journal Vol 5 1887
  • Tony Deane and Tony Shaw Folklore of Cornwall 2003 The History Press
  • Lien Gwerin, Journal of Cornish Folklore
  • Alex Langstone  'From Granite to Sea, the Folklore of Bodmin Moor' 2018 Troy Books
  • Helen E Manley ' The Revival of Folk Tradition' St Germans May Tree Fair ' Millbrook 2019


     The Piskey Trap       Articles on aspects of folklore from Devon and Cornwall

      The Silver Ball Audio drama about.                                                      T                                     the Hurlers and Merry Maidens stone circles, written by Anna Chorlton.

 Cornish Folklorists

  • Simon Young 'Her Room Was her World' : Nellie Sloggett and North Cornish Folklore.'  Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics volume 11 no 2 2017
  • Simon Young 'Enys Tregarthen of Padstow, A Neglected Cornsih Folklorist and Fairyist' 2023 Pwca Books
  • Charlotte MacKenzie   'Cornish Legends' 2022     (Hunt and Bottrell)
  • H Lewis  'In the footsteps of Robert Stephen Hawker' 2009 Cornwall Council


  • Mike O'Connor 'Traditional Storytelling in Cornwall' Kernow Goth Vol 16,2, autumn 2022
  • William Collier 'Tales and Sayings of William Robert Hicks of Bodmin' 1893 William Brendon and Son, Plymouth
  • P A S Poole  ' The Life and Progress of Henry Quick of Zennor' 1963 Penzance

History and Culture

  • Garry Tregidga ed. 'Memory, Place and Identity ', 2012 Frances Boutle Publishers

Children's Books

  • Will Coleman 'Tom and the Giant, Lutey and the Mermaid, Madgy Figgy's Pig', 2005 Brave Tales
  • Alan M. Kent 'The Beast of Bodmin Moor ', 2011 evertype
  • Mike O'Connor 'The Moon Over Pennycomequick' 2022 Lyngham House
  • Mike O'Connor 'Seal Song' 2022 Lyngham House
  • Mike O'Connor 'Firecrow' 2023 Lyngham House
  • Simon Parker ' Beast '  2014  Scryfa
  • Jill Paton Walsh 'Thomas and the Tinners' 2001


  • Three Daft Monkeys  'Of Stones and Bones'
  •  The Changing Room 'Seaton Mermaid'  


Cornishibai is a cross between Kamishibai' a Japanese storytelling technique, and Cornish droll telling. Each story is shown in a set of story sheets, and a set of words, each picture a step in the story. Word and Pictures from 6 stories from North Cornwall can be downloaded here.The full stories are on the website.

CORNISHIBAI print off the word and pictures, then stick the words on the back of the corresponding picture. Start by reading the stories with the pictures a few times, then leave the text and tell the tales in your own words.(picture1, words1..)

 KAMISHIBAI print off the words and pictures. Stick the words on the back of the next picture in the set eg in a 6 picture story. Picture 1 words 2 ; picture 2, words 3; picture3,words 4; picture 5, words 6; picture 6 words1. The pictures can then be slipped in a Kamishibai box.instructions coming soon-and the pictures can be moved from the front to the back of the pile while reading the story. 



The Piskeys Revenge illustrations ©Stephen Lambert.
The Piskeys Revenge story ©Anna Chorlton.
The Piskey Spoon pictures ©Mark Gregory
The Piskey Spoon text ©Anna Chorlton 2017
The Legend of the Doombar pictures © Alex Goodman
The Legend of the Doombar story © Anna Chorlton.
The Piskey who Rode in a Pocket pictures ©Keith Sparrow
The Piskey who Rode in a Pocket story © Anna Chorlton
The Darley Dog pictures © Sophie Fordham 2017
The Darley Dog text © Anna Chorlton 2017
Anne Jeffries and the Fairies pictures © Sue Field
Anne Jeffries and the Fairies words © Anna Chorlton