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The Devil's Apronful


In his  ‘Yorkshire Legends and Traditions’ (1888), Rev Thomas Parkinson gave the following account of how the stones known as The Devil's Apronful got their name.

On the high moors, which separate Nidderdale from the heads of the Washburn, Dibble, and other tributaries of the Wharfe, are several remarkable peaks and masses of rock, bearing the names of Nursa Knott, the Apronful of Stones, the Wig Stones (probably meaning, A. Saxon, 'War Stones') Pockstones, Grimwith Fell, etc.

The Apronful of Stones is a group of rocks heaped together in delightful confusion, their disorder and name being thus explained:

Once upon a time — whether when he built the bridge over the valley, or at some other time, the record saith not — the Devil was determined to fill up the ravine, or gill, of the Dibble. For this purpose he was carrying these enormous crags in his apron, when, too intent upon his object to properly observe where he placed his feet, he caught with one foot upon the top of Nursa Knott, and, stumbling, the strings of the apron broke, and the contents were thrown upon the ground as they now appear. It is also said of them that if any of them, even now, were to be removed, they would certainly be brought back to their original place during the succeeding night. 


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