A wonderful dramatisation by BBC Radio 4 of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, a book first published in 1960. Narrated by Robert Powell.
Based upon a local legend. A farmer takes a white mare to market, on the way he meets a tall thin man with a beard, unbeknown to him a wizard. The wizard offers to buy the white mare. The farmer declines the offer, believing he will get a better price at market. The wizard says not, and he will await his return. With no sale, the farmer returns to find the wizard still willing to buy the white mare. The wizards taps a large rock with his stick, which reveals an iron gate. He taps the gate, which in turns opens to reveal a passage leading into the cliffs. At this point the farmer is afraid, says take the horse, but the wizard says no, you must be paid. He leads him into a cave full of sleeping knights, each with a white mare, bar one. He then takes him into a second cave full of gold and jewels and says help yourself. Next day the man tries to find the iron gate, but in vain. In time, even the location is lost.
This is the tale a man tells to children who have come to stay. Next day, they set off to try and find the iron gate.
Alan Garner used a local legend as the starting point for his book The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and the story is firmly set in the part of Cheshire that he knew so well, Alderley Edge.
This was a tale that had been passed down within his family, part of the family oral history.
Sir William Collins published The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, this was when Collins was a real publisher, not part of HarperCollins, part of the Evil Murdoch Empire.
Wonderful use of language.
The usual crass stupidity of the BBC, a wonderful dramatization, only available on-line for seven days.