Fat Betty

Fat Betty

White Cross is affectionately known as Fat Betty and has also been called Margery Moorpout. The upper part of the cross is thought to be the remains of a wheelhead cross which supposedly used to mark the point where the parishes of Danby, Westerdale and Rosedale meet. Stanhope White tells of how in the 1930s two ladies were found trying to roll the top of the cross to their car. Fortunately Fat Betty’s head is now securely fixed to her base.

There are a few folktales regarding Fat Betty,the nearby Ralph Cross and the Margery Bradley standing stone, the most common being the tale of the white ladies.  Elizabeth and Margery were Cistercian nuns (white ladies) from Rosedale and were being taken across the moor by their faithful old servant, Ralph. During the journey a thick roak (a thick, wet fog) descended and Margery lost her way. Ralph left Elizabeth beside a large standing stone and went to find Margery. Ralph searched all night and eventually found Margery, he then led the nuns to the safety of the nunnery in Baysdale. The stones were named to commemorate this event.

Another tale tells of a man who lost his way on the high moor and was later found dead. This prompted the local landowner to erect the Young Ralph Cross to guide travellers across the moor.

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