A Yorkshireman’s coat of arms..

..a fly, a flea, a magpie, and a flitch of bacon.


A fly will tipple with any body, so will a Yorkshireman; a flea will bite every body; so will a Yorkshireman; a magpie will chatter with any body, so will a Yorkshireman; and a flitch of bacon is never good for any thing until it has been hung, no more is a Yorkshireman.

Peg Powler


DSCN0713This oulde ladye is the evil goddess of the Tees. I also meet with a Nanny Powler, at Darlington, who from the identity of their sirnames, is, I judge, a sister, or it may be a daughter of Peg’s. Nanny Powler, aforesaid, haunts the Skerne, a tributary of the Tees.

Denham Tracts 1891


A table of the divisions of land and qualifications of nobility


Beacon MoorTen families make a tything,

        Fourteen carucates were one tything,

Ten tythings make a hundred or wapentake.

                    Ten plough lands make a fee,

                          A twenty plough land makes a knight’s fee,

                                    Twenty acres make an ox-gang,

      Thirty acres make one yard of land,

                                                      One hundred acres make one hide of land,

                                                             Five hides make on knight’s fee,

                               Forty hides make a barony.

Battling Stones

The Bulmer Stone in Darlington is a Shap granite boulder. The stone was named after a nineteenth century town crier called Willy Bulmer. Prior to this it was known as the Battling Stone.

Bulmer sign

This 1895 account by Michael Denham shows that there were once a number of Battling Stones in the area.

Battling Stones

These now unused relics of a former period are still numerous throughout the length and breadth of the land, and must remain so, unless they have the ill-luck to meet the fate of the noble Piersebridge specimen, which was blown to fragments by means of gunpowder, by a fellow in the place, A.D. 1826. The are generally found on the margin of a stream, with the upper surface inclined towards the water. These stones were used by thrifty housewives some thirty years ago, whereupon to beat, battle, or beetle their home made linens or huckabacks, which even then pretty generally prevailed for domestic wear. The linen was thrown into the running stream and gradually drawn upon the stone, and there beat with a beetle or battling staff. The Piersebridge stone lay on the  north side of Carlebury beck, a yard or two below the present footbridge. Another stone of this class, but greatly deficient in magnitude, still exists on the Cliffe side of the Tees, with one side in the river. It is on the premises of the George and Dragon Inn, not far from the bridge. I have seen it used. It is a granite boulder, as was the other.

The Denham Tracts.

Michael Aislabie Denham. 1895

Quartzite Eyes, Yew & Detachable Penises

The Roos Carr figures were discovered in 1836 by some labourers who were cleaning out a ditch.Roos Carr figures

There were five figures in total plus a ‘serpent headed’ boat and other wooden items. The figures are carved from yew and the stone eyes are made from quartzite.

figures ii

The figures were donated to the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society and eventually became part of the collections of Hull Museums.

Roos CarrHull Museum Postcard

Originally, all of the wooden items, that were found with the figures, were glued onto the figures . The Victorian glue was eventually removed and the small pieces of wood that were originally interpreted as arms were found to fit perfectly into the sockets in the front of the figures, creating detachable genitalia.

Roos Carr figures The figures have been dated to around 600 BCE, they are not unique, similar figures, also with detachable genitalia, have been found in Britain, Ireland and Europe. No one knows what they mean, they remind me of Scandinavian rock carvings such as this one from Bohusian in Sweden. The carvings depict boats with possible serpent heads, figures with large penises and weapons.


These strange and beautiful figures are on display in the Hull & East Riding Museum