Sheep badgers exist, as described. As far as I know, the name is confined to the Forest of Dean.
Idesanight is an Anglo Saxon rendition of Bede’s ‘Mothers’ Night’. Bede (a 9th century monk) placed it as occurring on Christmas Eve, though modern Heathens tend to observe it the
night before the winter solstice.
The Bell at Skenfrith exists and is faithfully described.
‘Box 500’ or variations are names for MI5.
Broceliande is the name given to Merlin’s forest in Brittany. According to the French Arthurian folklore, the fairy Viviane met and imprisoned Merlin there.
Although Channel 4 made a programme called “Feral Children” that included the case of Oxana Malaya, it was in 2006, not 1999.
Longleat is an English stately home and the seat of the Marquesses of Bath. Since 1966 it has housed a Safari Park attraction and so specialised in exotic animals.
Chimerism exists in humans and other animals.
Fairy cattle have red ears in medieval Irish and Welsh folklore. This was extended to dogs and horses.
The River Wye is the fifth longest river in the UK. She flows through Wales into the Severn, and runs close to the southern border between England and Wales.
The Queen Stone exists and looks as described.
Undine is a name coined by Paraselsus in the 17th century. These days it generally refers to water nymphs, called nixies or necks in Germanic folklore.
The Severn is the longest river in the UK, flowing through Wales and west central England to form the Bristol Channel, dividing Wales and England. Her Welsh name is
Hafren and the Romans called her Sabrina.
Seven league boots appear in European folklore as a great way for the poor to travel rapidly.
Thomas the Rhymer was a real man living in the borders between England and Scotland in the 13th century. He had a reputation as a prophet which was rumoured to have been given to
him by the Queen of Elfhame. His tale is recorded in "Thomas Rhymer" (Child Ballad #37). Walter Scott added the white hind and hart coming from Elfhame to take him back there but
claimed it came from folklore.
Brownies are a form of hobgoblin – tweaked by Tolkien into hobbit. ‘Hob’ is also found in folklore.
Although December 1999 saw the rare event of a full moon and the solstice occurring at the same time, the actual timing was around 7am Wednesday 22, not the previous evening.
Scandinavian folklore connects the placenta with special abilities. It could be the newborn’s fetch (a particular sort of familiar spirit) or token an ability of the child to shapeshift.
If the mother used a foal’s placenta as a charm to avert pain, it would result in a male child being a werewolf. A (?later) addition is that a female child would be a mara.
Ginnungagap is taken from Heathen mythology, as is Niflheim (Misthome is the English translation).
Urdh was the eldest of the three Great Norns in Heathen mythology. Births were thought to be attended by ordinary norns, who determined the fate of the newborn child.
The tagging procedure for babies was introduced in the NHS from 2002. I cheated by putting it in 1999.
Valerie’s explanation of the grammar of jinn/jinni/jinniyah is true.
‘Bey’ is a Turkish form of address that denotes respect. ‘Bayan’ is the feminine.
An aamar or al amar is a type of jinn. Amar are more likely to live in houses with humans than other, more hostile, forms of jinn.
The few bridges over the lower reaches of the Severn are as described.
The King's Shropshire Light Infantry existed as an independent regiment from 1881 until 1968. The 1st Battalion fought at Anzio.
The caves on the Doward in Herefordshire exist, as described. One is called King Arthur’s Cave. The Clearwell Caves also exist, though they have been developed by mining.
Michael’s information about identical and fraternal twins of different sexes is true.
Fred and Rose West were serial killers operating from Gloucester in England, from 1967 to 1987. West claimed to have buried several bodies in Herefordshire.
The tale of Loki borrowing Freya’s falcon cloak to shapeshift is told in The Prose Edda, Skáldskaparmál 56.
A raptor’s eyesight is that good.
The house described is Hill House, a B&B on Howle Hill, close to Ross On Wye. It also appears as the main location in the 9th book of the series: