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Churn Milk Joan

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Churn Milk Joan</b>Posted by MidgeholeDaveImage © David Martin Photography
Also known as:
  • Milk Churn Joan

Nearest Town:Hebden Bridge (3km WSW)
OS Ref (GB):   SE019276 / Sheet: 104
Latitude:53° 44' 40.05" N
Longitude:   1° 58' 16.28" W

Added by daveyravey

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<b>Churn Milk Joan</b>Posted by breakingthings <b>Churn Milk Joan</b>Posted by breakingthings <b>Churn Milk Joan</b>Posted by MidgeholeDave


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I used to visit this lonely stone alot when I lived in Luddenden foot. The folklore regarding the placing of money into the basin at the top of the stone dates back many,many years.

A local chap once told me that the stone marks the spot where Joan (carrying her milk churn in a snow storm) died.

I remember visting this stone one July morning in 1999 (if my memory serves me) to find three quid in the basin and a stick of blackpool rock placed on the floor next to the stone.

Strange indeed.
Posted by Comus
29th August 2008ce
Edited 29th August 2008ce

A near seven foot high monolith at the junction of several footpaths. daveyravey Posted by daveyravey
17th February 2004ce


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I grew up just down the hill from Milk Churn Joan (as we were taught it by local farmers, etc). The story I heard as a kid was that Joan who had two very sickly parents went out in a very bleak and fierce winter in search of milk. I forget the details but she meets the devil who (perhaps) offers an exchange of life for the life of her parents. She accpets and that is her to this day on the hill.

As for donating a penny on top, this is indeed true and me and a friend would regularly go up there to stand on each other's shoulders to claim the cash. A local farmer (no doubt spuriously) presented a very large old whiskey bottle full of pennies claiming they had all come from the top of Milk Churn Joan to inspire further looting.
Posted by Tirath Singh
9th December 2005ce

The stone is claimed to spin round three times on New Year's Eve. It is said to be named after a milk-maid who died whilst carrying milk to the villages here. There is also a legend that a penny placed on the stone will bring good luck. daveyravey Posted by daveyravey
17th February 2004ce


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"A lonely stone
Afloat in the stone heavings of emptiness
Keeps telling her tale. Foxes killed her.

You take the coins out of the hollow in the top of it.
Put your own in. Foxes killed her here.
Why just here? Why not five yards that way?
A squared column, planted by careful labour.

Sun cannot ease it, though the moors grow warm.

Foxes killed her, and her milk spilled.

Or they did not. And it did not. Maybe

Farmers brought their milk this far, and cottegers
From the top of Luddenden valley left cash
In the stones crown, probably in vinegar,
And the farmers left their change. Relic of The Plague.

Churn-milk jamb. And Joan did not come trudging
Through the long swoon of moorland
With her sodden feet, nipped face.
Neither snow nor foxes made her lie down
While they did whatever they wanted.

The negative of the skylines is blank.

Only a word wrenched. Then the pain came,
And her mouth opened.

And now all of us,
Even this stone, have to be memorials
Of her futile stumblings and screams
And awful death".

Churn-Milk Joan
Ted Hughes

Remains of Elmet
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
21st October 2006ce
Edited 21st October 2006ce


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Midgely History

Churn Milk Joan Picture
daveyravey Posted by daveyravey
17th February 2004ce
Edited 17th February 2004ce