Yorkshire Rock Art

Customs, folklore and associated beliefs.
Part 1 - The Fertility stone, The Tree of Life stone, The Witch's stone.
Part 2 - The Lemmington wood rune stone.
Part 3 - Cupmarks in churchyards, Greystones, Cat troughs, Friars stone.
Part 4 - Extracts from the journals of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (text only).
Part 5 - The Giants Lapstone.


The GIANT'S LAP-STONE - site of ( NZ653 074 approx)

This was the name given to a large boulder which once stood alongside Baysdale beck on the North York Moors.
A legend (1) describes how the rock belonged to a giant who lived in a cave on Stoney ridge on the moors to the south, and how his daughter dropped the boulder beside the stream.
On top of the stone was a foot shaped cavity around two feet deep, which tradition held, could determine a women's virtue, - in that the foot of a virgin would not fit in the hole.
This may be a later moralistic addition to the lore connected with the stone, but more interestingly women could seek the giants blessing to ensure healthy children by performing a folk-ritual which involved visiting the stone on a monday, climbing on top of the boulder and reciting a verse, and finally throwing a left shoe into the beck.
Unfortunately in the last century the boulder slipped down the hillside and partially blocked the beck, which affected the nearby ford, so the boulder was broken up to remove it.

(1)The Hand of Glory, J. Fairfax Blakeborough.

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