Kildale

As viewed from Percy Rigg Farm. A fertile green valley with Park Nab on the left and Coate Moor on the right. J. Fairfax-Blakeborough writing in 1901 in his book ‘Great Ayton, Stokesley & District, past and present’ recounts that Satan was often seen poaching in the dale with his imps. The gamekeeper, a Stephen Howe, said that if he ever caught “His Majesty he would treat him most unkindly and compel him to show his licence”. Satan drove up to Howe’s cottage in a carriage pulled by six coal-black ponies. Howe took off but his wife Nancy aimed a blow at Satan with her broom. Eventually, she mounted in the carriage and the two drove off. Satan complained of thirst and she showed him the stream which supplied the church with holy water but that dried up before he could drink any. Nancy was never seen again but she was often seen on the moors lying astride her broom.

In another version of the story, John Walker Ord in ‘The History and Antiquities of Cleveland‘ names Howe’s wife as Nanny and a well-known witch. Nanny rides away with the devil in his carriage by invitation. And he also drinks the church well dry.

Coate Moor is said to take its name from Devil’s Court and on the spur hidden by forestry is a tumulus known as Nanny Howe.
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