The Raven and the Chest….
Many years ago there was a rumour of a long tunnel underneath the priory that emerged at Tocketts Mill! No-one dared to venture along it! According to local folklore, inside the tunnel was a chest of gold guarded by a giant Raven. If anyone tried to steal the gold, the Raven would attack and drive them off, attempting to peck out their eyes. One day Crispin Tocketts, a cobbler of the town and a man well known for his daring decided that he would defy that Raven and win the chest of gold. He sought the entrance and took a candle and a staff and a sword with which to protect himself.
Early one spring morning Crispin began his journey. He decided to start at the end of the tunnel nearest the town and he lit his candle and descended the steep slope into the passage. In the dim light of his candle, he made his way through the dark and narrow tunnel, often treading in pools of water, manoeuvring past falls from the roof and piles of loose stones, sometimes frightening small mammals and bats and occasionally brushing past tree roots which had come through from the ground above. The tunnel twisted and turned beneath the priory but fortunately there were no other passages to confuse him. His progress was slow. It was breathless down there and he had to stoop on his hands and knees in places, but he never thought for one moment that he would fail.
Suddenly, his candle cast a dim light on a huge chest that was standing on a plinth in a hollow that was carved from the earth. It was framed with large stones and rested on a stone table. Here was the treasure he sought! He ran towards it. The stout wooden chest had iron bands around it and a clasp on the front. On the front there was a brass plate inscribed with undecipherable lettering. The legend was true! Crispin placed his candle on the stone table and tried to loosen the clasp and in seconds, he was lifting the heavy lid. Inside there was a mass of gold and silver coins, chalices and plates made of gold and a gold mitre glittering with precious stones.
At that moment a huge black Raven appeared. He heard its wing beats and felt a swish of air as it flew over his head and settled before him on the upraised lid. It glared at him, its weight pushing down the lid as he backed away. Then, before his eyes the Raven turned into the Devil. There, before Crispin, stood Satan himself, fiery and angry, domineering and terrifying. Crispin ran! He forgot to bring his candle and fell over in the darkness of the tunnel – Crispin got to his feet and ran for his life! When he finally stumbled, frightened, dirty and wet, into the fresh night air, he was a quivering wreck of a man and it was years before he could bring himself to speak of his experience. When the tale did emerge, it so frightened the people of Guisborough that no one since has tried to find the hoard of gold which is guarded by that giant Raven.
King Arthur’s Tomb…
The areas of Arthurian legend locally include Freebrough Hill on the A171 Guisborough to Whitby road on the Yorkshire Moors, heading to Whitby this dome shaped hill can be spotted on the right hand side just after the Moorsholm turn off. It is believed to be the tomb of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. According to an old folk story, a local farmer was searching for a lost lamb and found an opening into the hill.
Upon entering the opening, he found an oak door. When he opened this door, he discovered the Round Table with the King and his Knights asleep around it. One knight was standing vigil and told him to leave, as this was the place where Arthur and the Knights were waiting until Britain needed them again.