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Roulston Scar



It's a bit confusing up here - there's a lot going on.
[Kilburn lies] immediately below the precipitous south-west corner of the Hambleton Hills, and not far from the supposedly bottomless lake called Gormire. The hill-end bears the figure of a White Horse, 300 feet long and 200 feet high. It was cut in 1857, and it is said to commemorate a legendary individual mounted on a white horse who fell off the cliff, possibly into Gormire. Since that date, it has been scoured about once in seven years.

The name White Mare Crag or White Stone Cliff is older than the figure*. There is a racecourse, now used only for training, on the flat hill-top, 800 feet above the plain. A collection of medieval Latin ghost-tales compiled by a monk of the nearby Byland Abbey contains a story about a white horse.

[..] the Village Feast begins on the Saturday after 6 July, and may therefore be associated with Old Midsummer Day [..]
*This might be true, but the name actually refers to somewhere further along Sutton Bank, above the Gormire lake. There are various 'tumuli' and cairns in the vicinity, and a cave called the 'Fairies Parlour'.
The above is from
Kilburn Feast and Lord Mayor
N. A. Hudleston
Folklore, Vol. 69, No. 4. (Dec., 1958), pp. 263-265.

More horsish stuff. Surely why the creator of the white horse was inspired to create it?
"When Gormire riggs shall be covered with hay,
The white mare of Whitestone Cliff will bear it away."
Richmondshire p240.

This white mare was a beast more or less mythical, which sprang over a cliff with a young lady rider, whose body was never found.
Additions to "Yorkshire Local Rhymes and Sayings"
E. G.
The Folk-Lore Record, Vol. 3, No. 2. (1880), pp. 174-177.

You will notice the 'Devil's Parlour' cave at Roulston Scar - as Paulus mentions, the Devil leapt from here to Hood Hill, carrying a stone.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st September 2007ce
Edited 21st September 2007ce

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