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<b>Obtrusch</b>Posted by fitzcoraldoImage © fitzcoraldo
Also known as:
  • Obtrusch Rock
  • Hobgoblin's Rook, Hobgoblin's Heap
  • Hobtrusch Rook

Nearest Town:Pickering (18km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   SE662944 / Sheets: 94, 100
Latitude:54° 20' 26.14" N
Longitude:   0° 58' 53.87" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Obtrusch</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo


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I was up at this fella today. I got to it via the Rudland Rigg bridleway. There is no easy way to reach the cairn. The simplest way to do it is probably to use a gps. Alternatively you can do what I did and walk along the bridleway until you reach the fields marked on the map at about SE654945 and then strike out due east through the surreal bell pit moonscape of the rigg.
The cairn is very overgrown with heather and bilberries and the structure is difficult to see through the tumbled down cairn.
The cairn is fairly obviously a ring cairn with possible internal and external kerbs. There has been some structure built into one side of the cairn, probably a grouse butt, but this has long since tumbled down. There is one stone in this structure that has a very suspicious cup-like impression upon it but there are also a number of stones in the cairn that contain 'natural cups'. The main beauty of Obtrusch is its location on the rigg edge overlooking Farndale and the valleys of the River Dove and it's tributary the West Gill Beck.
The cairn looks north towards Horn Ridge with it's cross ridge dyke and cairn on the very tip above Horn End Crag. In the background running north to south is Blakey ridge an ancient trackway.
Obtrusch is a good walk over some difficult ground, but if you like beaten-up ring cairns with beautiful views then this is one for you.
Oh yeh - I forgot to put my memory card in my camera so I'm afraid there's no pictures - next time.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
19th June 2005ce
Edited 19th June 2005ce


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In May 1836, I was one of a numerous party who proceeded with the late Mr. Jonathan Gray from the house of the Vicar of Kirkby Moorside, to inspect and open some of the tumuli and cairns which are scattered over the dreary hills north of the Vale of Pickering..

..a conspicuous object for many miles round, was the large conical heap of stones called Obtrush Roque. In the dales of this part of Yorkshire we might expect to find, if anywhere, traces of the old superstitions of the Northmen, as well as their independence and hospitality, and we do find that Obtrush Roque was haunted by the goblin.

But 'Hob' was also a familiar and troublesome visitor of one of the farmers, and caused him so much vexation and petty loss, that he resolved to quit his house in Farndale and seek some other home. Very early in the morning, as he was trudging on his way, with all his household goods and gods in a cart, he was accosted in good Yorkshire by a restless neighbour, with "I see you're flitting." The reply came from Hob out of the churn - "Ay, we're flutting." Upon which the farmer, concluding that change of air would not rid him of the daemon, turned his horse's head homeward.

This story is in substance the same as that narrated on the Scottish Border, and in Scandinavia; and may serve to show for how long a period and with what conformity, even to the play on the vowel, some traditions may be preserved in secluded districts..

.. [They investigated the 'goblin-haunted mound'] but within the kist were no urns, no bones, no treasures of any kind, except a tail-feather from some farmyard chanticleer. The countrymen said this place of ancient burial had been opened many years ago, and that then gold was found in it. It seemed to us that it must have been recently visited by a fox.
p212 of 'The rivers, mountains and sea-coast of Yorkshire' by John Phillips (1853).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th September 2007ce

Obtrusch is a Bronze Age round cairn on Rudland Rigg, positioned so it looks on the skyline from round about. It has kerb stones and a central cist; nearby to the southeast there's another smaller cairn.

It used to be known as Obtrush Rook (or Roque) in the nineteenth century - the Home of Hobthrush. Hobthrush was of course a hob (like a brownie) - the other part of the name may come from 'thurs' which is an old english word for a devil or giant.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st April 2004ce
Edited 6th September 2007ce


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This goblin-haunted mound was elevated several feet above the moorland, and was covered with heath. Under this was a great collection of sandstones loosely thrown together, which had been gathered from the neighbouring surface. On removing them, a circle of broader and larger stones appeared set on edge, in number 25, or, allowing for a vacant place, 26. Within this was another circle, composed of smaller stones set edgeways, in number 25 or 26 ; and the centre of the inner space was occupied by a rectangular kist, composed of four flagstones set edgeways. The sides of this cyst pointed east and west and north and south ; the greatest length being from east to west. On arriving at this fortunate result of our labour, our expectations were a little raised as to what might follow. But within the kist were no urns, no bones, no treasures of any kind, except a tail-feather from some farmyard chanticleer. The countrymen said this place of ancient burial had been opened many years ago, and that then gold was found in it. It seemed to us that it must have been recently visited by a fox.

Considering the position of the kist, set with careful attention to the cardinal points; the two circles of stone; the number of these stones, which if completed appeared to be 26; it seemed not unreasonable conjecture, that the construction contained traces of astronomical knowledge, of the solar year, and weekly periods. I dare not confidently affirm this. Was this a relique of an early British chief, or of a later Scandinavian warrior ? for such circles have been raised in Scandinavia and the Orkney Islands by the Northmen, and this is a district which the Northmen colonized. A similar circle of stones occurs at Cloughton near Scarborough.

The Rivers, Mountains and Sea Coast

John Phillips, F.R.S.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
29th November 2007ce

There's a beautiful photograph of the 18th century spoil heaps on Rudland Rigg linked below.
Bear in mind that some of these heaps are 20 metres across and you can see the difficulties that may arise when looking for burial mounds in this area.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
25th November 2005ce