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Wade and his Wife

Wade and his wife were two giants, said to have lived in the area around Whitby in North Yorkshire. As part of the old race they both had the most tremendous powers, and could lift mountains and throw giant boulders like pebbles. Their toils were held responsible for many of the landscape features around the Whitby area, including Pickering Castle, Mulgrave Castle, the connecting Roman road, and several other earthworks and stone circles.

In ancient times before man had a proper hold on the world, and the veil between the world of magic was much thinner, two giants, Wade and his Wife Bell, ruled the area around Whitby. For giants they were relatively good souls and were responsible for many of the large features left in the landscape today.

Wade and his Wife were a perfect team when building the many landmarks around the area. In every day life Bell had to cross the moorlands to milk her gigantic cow. Together Wade and Bell set about creating a road over the moorland to make the crossing easier.

Bell carried huge mounds of paving stones in her apron and deposited them for Wade, who was engaged in the paving of the road. Once or twice the huge weight of the stones was too much for Bell's apron strings and they gave way leaving huge piles of stones. In this way Wade's Wife's Causey or Wade's Causey was built, although it has also been ascribed to the Romans.

Another time they decided to build two castles, now called Mulgrave and Pickering. The giants split the task in two, they were both of large enough stature to build a castle each. So they set about the task, one building Mulgrave and the other Pickering. Unfortunately they only had one gigantic hammer between them so they had to throw it back and forth between the two castles, shouting each time it was thrown so as not to accidentally smite the other.

A gigantic jawbone of a whale once kept at Mulgrave Castle, was said to be the rib of Bell's cow, and was carved with the initials of pilgrims who came to visit the castle.

Many ancient features in the landscape were credited to giants, gods and legendary figures.

Image Copyright: 
Andy Paciorek
Daniel Parkinson



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