An incantation to accompany a dead person into the grave

In Askrigg, Mad Martha of Muker used to sing the following words over every new filled grave

Ancram, Sancram, Ah say Aneran,

rue an’ sorrow weeds binnds mah bru.

A corpse glow leights ma, wick wraiths greet ma.

Neean hears what Ah hears,

neean kens what Ah kens.

Shout Roller.

Marvels, Magic & Witchcraft. David Naitby’s Bedale Treasury. David Kirby. Summerfield Press. 2005

Death & Burial – The Backside of the Church

Still-born and unbaptised children, persons executed in accordance with the law, felo-de-se,* and in fact all persons who laid violent hand on their own persons and brought themselves to an unnatural death, persons excommunicated either by ecclesiastical or civil law, and a variety of other offences deprived those so transgressing of the benefit of Christian interment – that is, there was neither service nor tolling of bell. They were also buried “within the night on the backside of the church.”

This antipathy to interment on the north also in a minor degree extended itself to the west end of the church. Witness the west end of the cemetery garth at High Coniscliffe, near Darlington, where till almost within the period of living memory no interments had taken place, the south and east portions alone being used.


DT 1859

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