Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Tag: folklore

  • Shig-shags


    While cutting back the bracken in Newton Wood today, I was taken by surprise when I stumbled upon what seemed to be miniature apples. Of course, these were not genuine apples, but rather galls created by insects as excrescences. And as it dawned on me that they were attached to a small oak sapling instead […]

  • St. Helen’s Day, the Rowan tree, and their connection to warding off witches

    St. Helen’s Day, the Rowan tree, and their connection to warding off witches

    Wikipedia says St Helen’s Day  — Helena, mother of Constantine I — is honoured in the Church of England on 21st May but in the Episcopal Church on 22nd May. The Rev. R.C. Atkinson, however, suggests it falls on the 2nd May. So who’s right? Yer pays yer money … It matters if you wish […]

  • The Delicate Greggles of Newton Wood

    The Delicate Greggles of Newton Wood

    I make no apologies for yet another posting featuring the greggles of Newton Wood. In a mere couple of weeks, they will have surpassed their peak, and the woods will be stripped of their intoxicating hue of violet blue. Thomas Hardy employed the term “greggles” in his book, The Mayor of Casterbridge, ingeniously portraying the […]

  • From Sores to Toothaches: remedies with Wild Garlic

    From Sores to Toothaches: remedies with Wild Garlic

    Another dreich morning with poor visibility. So my eyes were drawn to the abundance of flowers blooming in Newton Woods. Ramsons, also known as Wild Garlic, are plentiful in the damper areas of the wood. Personally, I find their display equally impressive as the Bluebells, although some may dislike their scent. Throughout history, plants from […]

  • The Kildale Spectres

    The Kildale Spectres

    Another one of the old folk tales collected by Richard Blakeborough and published in the Northern Weekly Gazette in July 1901. THE KILDALE SPECTRES. By RICHARD BLAKEBOROUGH. The first part of this story, so far as the source from which it sprang is concerned, has not passed through many lips, seeing that the father of […]

  • The Falconer and the Whorlton Elves

    The Falconer and the Whorlton Elves

    Prepare to be delighted and delectated by another tale from that master wordsmith of the North Riding of Yorkshire: Richard Blakeborough (1850-1918), writer, poet, and dramatist. Now, I did have a notion to modernise this story for you, but I quickly found myself struggling by how to handle some of the terms, such as “dark-faced” […]

  • Nan Hardwicke — Witch or Hare? The Folklore of Cleveland

    Nan Hardwicke — Witch or Hare? The Folklore of Cleveland

    There are very few Cleveland villages which, at one time or another, one of the inhabitants had not been stigmatised as a witch. More often than not, it was some lonely old woman, past her childbearing age, probably widowed but more than likely without any degree of patriarchal protection. The most celebrated of these witches […]

  • Black Hambleton

    Black Hambleton

    The glooming mass of the flat-topped Black Hambleton, the northern end of the calcareous Tabular Hills that range from Roulston Scar in the south. Climbing up to its right is Hambleton Street, part of the drover’s road that once extended from Scotland along which cattle were driven to be sold at the markets of York, […]

  • Boundary stone on Stanghow Moor

    Boundary stone on Stanghow Moor

    Exploring hob country, the area of moorland south-east of Guisborough. This early 19th-century boundary stone marks an old parish boundary between Guisborough and Stanghow. It is about half way between Hob on the Hill and Hob Cross, which names denote a connection with those mischievious sprites that are supposedly the descendants of prehistoric inhabitants. The […]

  • Sarkless Kitty

    Sarkless Kitty

    In 2015, I posted ‘The Sad Tale of Sarkless Kitty‘, a harrowing story of a woman from Gillamoor who, allegedly having been romanced and forsaken by a farmer from Hutton-le-Hole, was supposed to have ended her own life in the shallow waters of the ford that crosses the River Dove while carrying his unborn child. […]