The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Blakey Topping

Sacred Hill

Folklore

"A witch story related by a native 25yrs ago attempts to explain two conspicuous natural features two miles apart on Pickering Moor; Blakey Topping, an isolated hill, and the Hole of Horcum, a deep basin-shaped valley. The local witch had sold her soul to the devil on the usual terms, but when he claimed it, she refused to give it up, and flew over the moors, with the devil in hot pursuit. Overtake her he could not, so he grabbed up a handful of earth and flung it at her. he missed his aim and she escaped. The Hole of Horcum remains to prove where he tore up the earth and Blakey Topping where it fell to the ground.
From our point of view the significance of this story lies in the fact that between the Hole and the Topping there is a Bronze Age settlement site at Blakey Farm, with its stone circle. The rough trackway leading from the Hole to the circle is known as the Old Wife's Way, presumably also marking the witch's flight. This, together with other Old Wife's Ways, preserves as it were Bronze Age church tracks".

The Archaeology of Yorkshire
F & HW Elgee
1933
Republished 1971 by SR Publishers Ltd.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
22nd February 2005ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment