Raise the Julenek!

(A Yule related post inspired by the Old Wife’s Neck.)   Our Scandinavian cousins have preserved a Yuletide custom known as the Julenek – a sheaf of grain stalks kept over from the summer harvest, which is then hung up outside on Christmas eve. The custom was apparently condemned in the 1700’s as having pagan […]

The Old Wife’s Neck – Sneaton Moor

 The Old Wife’s Neck is a short standing stone located on Sneaton Low Moor, 5 miles to the south of Whitby.   This is another North Yorks Moors location associated with the folklore figure of the ‘Old Wife’ (see also The Old Wife of Lund Ridge). It also continues the Old Wife’s association with prehistoric […]

Cailleach an Dùdain (Old Woman of the Mill Dust)

The legendary ‘Old Wife‘ figure of the North York Moors seems to have had a sister further north who was known as the ‘Cailleach’ (both their names meaning ‘The Old Woman’), who was celebrated in music, song, and dance. Cailleach an Dùdain (Old Woman of the Mill Dust) is an old tune for pipes or […]

The Hob -Thrush of Over Silton

Over Silton village is located on the edge of the Hambleton Hills, 5 miles to the east of Northallerton. Hidden in the woods to the north of the village stands a high crag, which was once believed to be the the home of a Hobthrush – a supernatural dwarf-like being. A small cave half way […]

The Devil’s Missing Arrows

The three large standing stones known as the Devil’s Arrows stand in fields to the west of Boroughbridge. When the antiquarian John Leland visited the town around the year 1540, there was a fourth stone located next to the central one. His description of the stones (from north to south) runs …. “A little without […]

The Broxa Spring – Broxa

The hamlet of Broxa is located five miles to the west of Scarborough. Take a look at any OS map and it will usually mark the location of several wells and springs. Many of these will be unnamed, while a few will have descriptive names such as the ‘Cold Well’, or perhaps refer to the […]

The Old Wife of Lund Ridge

Lund Ridge is located 4 miles to the north of Helmsley, on the North York Moors. The first edition OS map (1857) shows a stone called the “Old Wife” located alongside a footpath running across the moorland on Lund Ridge. The stone does not appear on later maps, but overlaying the old and new maps […]