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 […]