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Roseberry Topping

Sacred Hill


"When Roseberry Topping wears a cappe,
Let Cleveland then beware a clappe."

This cap refers to the mist overhanging the lofty hill bearing that name in the North Riding, previously to a thunderstorm. Camden, who notices this proverb, observes, that, "when its top begins to be darkened with clouds, rain generally follows."
There are variations of the distich -

"When Roseberry Topping wears a cap,
Let Cleveland men beware of a rap."**

And allusions to other places are made in some of the variants. Thus -
"When Roseberry Topping wears a hat
Morden carre will suffer for that."

The latter place cannot be exactly indicated, but doubtless from its name, carre, some lowland likely to be flooded in wet weather.

From the Denham Tracts, privately printed at Richmond, Durham, and Newcastle upon-Tyne, in various years since 1850, we have -
"When Eston nabbe puts on a cloake,
And Roysberrye a cappe,
Then all the folks on Cleveland's clay
Ken there will be a clappe."
From 'Yorkshire Local Rhymes and Sayings' in The Folk-Lore Record, Vol. 1. (1878), pp. 160-175. The article is a compilation of folk lore collected by Mr Reginald W Corlass and Mr Edward Hailstone FSA.

**The Denham Tracts say "The 'rap' alluded to is, in plain language, a thunder-storm. This old proverb is noticed by Camden, two hundred years ago. He observes that 'When its top begins to be darkened with clouds, rain generally follows.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th September 2006ce
Edited 11th January 2010ce

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