Barns and Legends


When out and about in the Yorkshire Dales, you can't help but notice the splendid barns that are scattered around. These two barns are located between Addingham and Bolton Abbey. Almost each field has its barn. Farmers used to store fodder in them, as well as use them for animal shelter in the harsh winter months. Today, sadly, most are in a poor state, almost beyond restoration. They have become obsolete, as newer farming methods are used. Still, they add character to the fields and make pretty photo's. I once spent the night 'camping' in a barn with just a sleeping bag and an owl to keep me company.


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The 'Devils Bridge'

Ralph Calvert, a shoemaker at Thorpe, went twice a year to Fountains Abbey with a sack of sandals to sell to the monks, spending a night at the monastery and returning the next day. One night he dreamed that the devil had caught him and was shoving him into the sack. Ralph’s own screams woke him just as the devil was tying the strings. Next day, laughing off the dream, he set off for home. Reaching Gill Ford, where the Grassington road crossed the river, he found it swollen with recent rains, and had to take off his boots and socks in order to paddle across. Sitting on a stone on the far side to tie his laces he sang to himself, ‘As he was riding along the highway, Old Nick came unto him and thus he did say, Sing link-a-doom, hey-down, ho-down, derry’ and a voice added, ‘Tol lol derol, darel dol, dol dol, derry.’ The Devil himself. ‘How far is it to Grassington?’ he asked. ‘Too far without something to eat,’ said Ralph, and, producing the fine eel pie the monks had given him, fell to eating as if unconcerned. The devil was so impressed by Ralph’s boldness that he wanted to impress in his turn, and began to boast of his powers. Promptly, Ralph said, ‘You take the credit for many a strong bridge in other parts of the country. Make one here, and I’ll believe you.’ ‘In three days,’ said the devil, and was gone. Three days later there was a bridge at Gill Ford, which ever since has been known as 'Devil’s Bridge.'