The Old Hell Way


When I dee, for dee I s’all, mind ye carry me to my grave by t’church-road

Street Lane – Water (Great Fryup Beck) -Long Causeway Road – Nun’s Green Lane – High Gill – Fairy Cross Plain – Water (Little Fryup Beck) – Stonebeck Gate Lane – Slate Hill – Church Way – Danby Rigg  – Tofts Lane – Crossroad – St. Hilda’s Church

TOHW path

Choose the wrong path, risk waking The Old Wife.

TOHW path round hill

Round Hill & The Fairy Cross Plain

TOHW path i

Stoups guard the route

TOHW path vii

 The descent into Danby Dale & St Hilda’s Church

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