Marske Hobman

Many years ago the old church at Marske was condemned and  a new church was to be built on another site using the stone from the old church. On the first morning the demolition of the old church commenced, the stone was carted away to the site of the new church. The old people of the parish were not happy with the destruction of their old church but were powerless to prevent it from happening. The next morning the workmen returned to the site of the old church to find that every stone they had removed had been brought back to the site and replaced in situ. On hearing of this the man in charge ordered the work to proceed and set even more men onto the task of demolishing the old church. By the end of the second day a considerable amount of stone was carted away to the new site. The following morning they found that the old church had been fully repaired, all of the stone had been replaced and the mortar that held it in place had set completely hard. Those in charge once again ordered the demolition work to continue but this time men were set to watch the stones and find out who came for them. During the night the watchmen fell asleep and the following morning the stones had returned to the site of old church, the demolished church had been completely restored.


…Those in authority were bound to admit that it was useless to contend further against such a powerful and invisible opponent. For long it was not generally known but what means the work of replacement had been wrought; but there were those that knew and in time every one did. It was the hobman, assisted by others of his friends. In those days it was simply the essence of folly for architects and bricklayers to pit themselves against a hob man, just the same as it would be today, if the hob men took it into their heads to undertake a job – but they don’t now.

R Blakeborough

Yorkshire Wit, Character , Folklore & Customs


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