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

Elbolton Hill

Sacred Hill


The cave gazetteer at CAPRA explains that pottery and skeletons from the Neolithic and Early Bronze ages were found in the caves inside Elbolton. Finds are in the Craven museum in Skipton.

There are so many caves here with many weird names. Elbolton Cave /Pot itself is also known as Navvy Noodle Hole and Knave Knoll Hole. It is rather a strange landscape with these entrances to worlds below - it is any wonder it is famed as the haunt of fairies?

A tale related in the Readers Digest 'Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain' mentions them - and they weren't very nice ones either. A man from Burnsall was walking home in the moonlight, when he was surprised to come across a crowd of them dancing. They hadn't seen him so for a while he tried to keep quiet, watching their antics. However, (quite well-meaningly I feel) he eventually piped up: "Na' then, Ah'll sing a song if tha loikes." But the fairies were not impressed and actually beat him up. His bruises lasted for ages.

I've found the story in Yorkshire Legends and Traditions which says:
[The man from near Burnsall] was passing Elbothon Hill - the fairies' haunt - when he saw a large number of them dancing in the moonlight. He knew their wishes always to be left uninterrupted; but he so far forgot himself as to off to join in their revellings by singing a song. He was at once attacked by the whole band, and so punished by pinches and kicks, that he was glad to get away as quickly as possible. He, however, succeeded, as he fled, in taking one of them prisoner - whether a lady or a gentleman the record sayeth not - and he secured, as he thought, him or her, in the pocket of his coat. Rejoicing in the capture, he hastened home, where he delighted his children, by telling of the beautiful living doll he had secured for them. But, alas! when the prison-house was opened and searched, the prisoner had fled!
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th March 2005ce
Edited 22nd July 2012ce

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