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Do the undead really walk in the shadow of Sutton Bank ?


During the Middle-Ages there was a commonly held belief that the dead could rise and walk among the living. This was not in the modern sense of the brain-eating zombie but rather that the dead just got up and went about their everyday business. Obviously this was pretty disconcerting to family and friends left behind.


During the 1400’s the Rector of Kirkby died and being a man of the cloth his body was buried at Byland. Unfortunately he was a man who would not lie down and his body took regular nightly walks through the area. The locals were obviously not over-joyed by having a walking dead man in their midst and protestations were subsequently made to the Abbot of Byland.


However, it was not until, on one of his nightly walks, he visited his mistress and caused her injury that anything was decided to be done about the matter. Even in life the rector can’t have obeyed the strict religious practices of the church in order to have a mistress in the first place. Anyway, this was the last straw and the Abbot had the rector’s body dug up from his grave and thrown into the watery depths of Gormire Lake where he is to this day.


How much of this old tale is true is not known, apart from the belief that the dead could walk that is. Did the Abbot really have the reactor’s body thrown in the lake and, if so, does the rector still take his nightly strolls only now in the woods surrounding the lake.



This historical snippet comes from our book ‘Walking in the Hambleton Hills’.


The Hambleton Hills lie in the south western corner of the North York Moors and contain a range of landscapes from heather-clad moors, forested hills, and secluded valleys. All coupled with a fascinating history.


Until the 19th March you can obtain 20% off the retail price of this book when purchased from our website. Just enter the discount code HAMBLETON when completing the shopping cart. Just follow the link below to go straight to the book.




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