Lilla Cross stands on Lilla Howe, a Bronze Age burial mound. The cross is said to commemorate Lilla, who according to Bede was one of King Edwin of Northumbria’s thegns who died in AD626 saving Edwin from an assassins knife. It is unlikely that the cross commemorates Bede’s Lilla as the cross was erected at least two centuries after his death. The mound was excavated in 1920 and pieces of Anglo-Danish jewellery were found.
The cross and mound have a significance in the landscape of this part of the moors. They form a boundary marker for the lands of the abbey at Whitby, the boundary of four medieval parishes and a waymarker for two medieval packhorse roads.
John Aubrey’s Monumenta Britannica compiled between 1665 & 1693
Should the family of the departed one possess a hive, the announcement of a death must at once be made to the bees, and the hive be draped in black. The bees must also have given to them a portion of everything, to the minutest detail, which is offered to the bidden guests, including wine, spirits, tobacco, and pipes; nothing must be omitted, for in some undefined way bees watch over the welfare of those to whom they belong, and it would be unwise to offend them. It is held that if the first swarm following a death, no matter how long the interval, is easy to hive, success is guaranteed for the next business transaction, but should the swarm settle on a dead bough, it foretells death to another of the family in the near future; while should the swarm fly away and be lost, then great care must be exercised in all undertakings, until such times as a swarm has been successfully hived.
Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore & Customs. R Blakeborough. 1911
Rev. Atkinson tells of the bees being put into mourning at the death of their master, this account was given to him by the rector of Sessay.
..Presently his attention was aroused by the passage of a woman, the wife of the eldest son of the deceased man. She was carrying a tray, on which he saw there were piled a variety of eatable and drinkable matters. She went straight to the beehive, and he heard her address the bees themselves. Naming the late owner, she said, “John G____ is dead, and his son is now master. He has sent you something out of every dish and jug on the table, and we hope you will be content to take him as the new master.”
Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. 1908
Reblogged from the excellent Film Night blog
Film Night is currently taking an Easter break, but here is Chris Corner’s vivid account of the making of Ken Loach’s Black Jack in Whitby, originally published on his own blog.
It was August, towards the end of the summer holidays of 1978 and I was at my nana’s – a tall house half way up Blackburn’s Yard on the old East Side of Whitby. My seagull’s perch (an attic window) gave a view of all the steps twisting downhill between the pantiled terraced cottages. A short, narrow tunnel-like passageway through the buildings led to Church Street. I’d look out across the town and harbour, watching the boats but on that cloudy day there was something interesting happening below in the yard itself.
A thin man with sandy hair and big glasses was peering intently through a hand-held lens. He was standing with a small group of people behind a sturdy…
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There is an old custom, almost dead now. It is only in hidden and unfrequented spots that it still survives – I mean ‘the wading of the sun.’ It was common enough thirty years ago. The modus operandi was as follows :- As the sun rose on Easter morn, a bucket of water was placed in such a position that the sun was reflected in it. If the sun waded, i.e. glimmered in the water, it would rain that day; but if it kept fine in the morning and rained in the afternoon, then the spring would be fine and the autumn wet, and vice versa. On this morning too the flight of crows was carefully observed; if they settled near home, instead of flying far afield to feed, the farmer shook his head, for they plainly told him, by doing so, that grub and other pests would sorely afflict his crops that year.
Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore & Customs
R. Blakeborough 1911
Published by W. Rapp & Son Ltd. Dundas St. Saltburn by the Sea
Marcus H aka Soiled at Mayburgh Henge
THE MONUMENT COMMONLY CALLED LONG MEG AND HER DAUGHTERS, NEAR THE RIVER EDEN
A WEIGHT of awe, not easy to be borne,
Fell suddenly upon my Spirit–cast
From the dread bosom of the unknown past,
When first I saw that family forlorn.
Speak Thou, whose massy strength and stature scorn
The power of years–pre-eminent, and placed
Apart, to overlook the circle vast–
Speak, Giant-mother! tell it to the Morn
While she dispels the cumbrous shades of Night;
Let the Moon hear, emerging from a cloud;
At whose behest uprose on British ground
That Sisterhood, in hieroglyphic round
Forth-shadowing, some have deemed, the infinite
The inviolable God, that tames the proud!
William Wordsworth 1833