What can objects tell us about Superstitions and Folklore in Rural Life?


This resource accompanies the Superstitions and Folklore online exhibition, and explores six themes within the wider contexts of superstitions and folklore: 

  • Healthcare 
  • Love and friendship 
  • Spirituality 
  • Luck 
  • Witchcraft, magic and the supernatural 
  • Annual Events 

It can also be used to accompany an onsite visit to The MERL.

Themes and topics:

Key Stage 3 – History 

  • The development of Church, state, and society in Britain (society, economy, and culture across the period: for example, work and leisure in town and country, religion, and superstition in daily life) 
  • Gain historical perspective by placing growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, religious, and social history. 
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed. 


Lower secondary 


This resource supports students to: 

  • Ask key questions to explore the objects and themes further and provide a gateway to engaging with contemporary people’s lives and the context in which they lived. 
  • Have a greater insight into superstition and folklore and how and why they have changed over time. 
  • Develop their enquiry skills; asking questions about the role of superstition on daily lives in the past and how it compares to their own. 
  • Be in a position to compare and contrast different objects as evidence of superstition and folklore.