The Legend of the Lincoln Imp
(taken directly from the EBP Imp Trail Education Pack)
Long, long ago, in the dark days of centuries past, legend has it that the Devil was in a frolicsome mood and let out his young demons to play. It was a windy, treacherous day, and two of the devilish little demon imps were blown towards the large town of Chesterfield. Being of a devilish persuasion, the two imps played around the town’s stone church with its tall spire. Would you believe it? When they had finished, their evil antics left the spire in a crooked and twisted state!
As they leant back to admire their naughtiness, a sudden gust of wind blew those rascals all the way to Lincoln! There the imps descended on the magnificent cathedral which sits on a hill and can be seen for miles and miles. The beautiful cathedral looked like a great opportunity for those bad imps to cause even more trouble.
The most wicked of the imps swooped down and entered the cathedral through its heavy wooden doors. He thought what fun it would be to smash one of the beautiful stained glass windows! He destroyed some candles and finally… when he spotted the great Bishop of Lincoln, he took it upon himself to stick out an impish little leg and trip the great man up! The poor bishop tripped and fell onto the hard, stone floor! The imp thought this was hilarious and he chuckled so loudly that his wicked little laugh echoed around the sides of the great cathedral.
Looking for more impish fun, he spotted the stonemasons who were working in the Angel Choir. What fun it would be, he thought, if he could hide their tools, move the stones and chase them around and throw some limestone chippings at them! However, the stonemasons were trying to work and it didn’t take long for one of them to call on the angels for help against the annoying little imp.
An angel, who had been watching the imp’s annoying antics, rose up out of the Bible which lay open on the altar, and in a stern voice shouted, “Wicked imp, be turned to stone!” The imp stopped in his tracks. He realised that the church walls had a spell on them now, and if he were to touch them, he would indeed be turned to stone. What he didn’t know, was that one of the stonemasons had decided to take revenge on the imp. The stonemason picked up a chip of limestone, carefully aimed it and threw it hard. The limestone chip flew through the air and hit the imp sharply on the knee. As the little imp hopped around in pain, clutching his knee, he leant against a ledge in the east column of the cathedral and … he was instantly turned to stone. And that is where he has sat ever since.