Once a year the needfire was so lighted, and all the hearths of the village were rekindled from the blaze thus obtained.
The term “needfire” seems to be a corruption of “neatfire,” neat cattle being an old and common term.
The last time the “needfire” was used in the Keswick neighbourhood, Mr. William Wilson says, was in 1841.
needfire was then obtained by friction, and all the fires were rekindled from what was regarded as the sacred flame.
As thou knowest, it seemed to me that I was watching two sparkles from the extinguished needfire wheel.
I never heard of the use of the needfire in the Marsh, though it was, I believe, used on the wolds not many miles off.