The Boiling well stands on the side of the road from Whitby to Hawsker. The well originally fed Whitby Abbey hence it’s other name T’awd Abba Well. A plaque on the well wall used to read

T’awd Abba Well
Also Known as The Old boiling Well

Lang centuries aback
This wor’t awd Abba Well
Saint Hilda veiled i’ black
Lang centuries aback
Supped frey it an no lack
All ‘r sisterhood as well
Lang centuries aback
This wor’t awd Abba Well

This very worn 10C Anglo Saxon cross sits beside a minor road at Low Hawsker. Much of the detail is lost. The drawing below was published by W G Collinwood in 1911.

Hawsker YAJ21WG Collingwood


Graham Chappell’s wonderful Yorkshire Holy Wells

Anglian & Anglo-Danish Sculpture in the East Riding with addenda to the North Riding. W.G. Collingwood. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 21 1911. Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Leeds

The Maiden’s Garlands of Robin Hood’s Bay


St. Stephens church is a lovely box-shaped Georgian church built in 1821 replacing an 11th century building. The church is no longer used and is owned by the Churches Conservation Trust.

The interior of the church has painted plaster walls and numbered box pews. There is a three-decker pulpit and a gallery on the west and north sides.

Inside the church, behind a glass panel are two Maiden’s Garlands, a third, modern replica, is hung in the nave. The garlands were made by the friends of a young woman who had died before she was married. Her coffin bearers would be young girls dressed in white, the garland was carried in front of the coffin and hung up in the church after the funeral.  Of the two original garlands in the church; one was made for Elizabeth Harland with died in 1848 aged 19, the other was made for Jane Levitt who died in 1859 aged 20.

The garland consisted of two hoops intertwined, decorated with white paper flowers and ribbons, in the centre of which was a white glove, often home-made, of paper or fine linen, upon which was written or worked in some fine stitch the initials or name in full and age of the deceased. According to locality this garland was either carried in front of the coffin by one of the deceased’s dearest companions, or laid upon it.

R Blakeborough. Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore & Customs. 1911. Saltburn