I recently mentioned Knaresborough's windows in a post and it reminded me of our visit to Mother Shipton's Cave which is also in the town.
We went along, we were tourists after all, to see what it was all about.
Once inside the attraction, a rainy walk by the River Nidd led to Mother Shipton's cave. Who was Mother Shipton? Well, have a look at this! You will see that she was a prophetess who lived during the reign of Henry VIII. Legend has it she was born in 1488 during a violent thunderstorm in the cave near the mysterious Petrifying Well. Petrified yet? She is said to have predicted the Great Fire of London, iron ships, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and even the end of the world. You can find her prophecies on the internet if you are keen to find out what else she came up with.
The park itself is very pleasant giving nice views of the town. Here's Knaresbourough's famous viaduct, not taken from the park, which was pronounced as an eyesore when it was built.
The cave has a model of Mother Shipton (spooky!) with details of the story, there's a museum/shop at the end which is all very touristy but the Petrifying Well is quite interesting!
The water in that area has a high mineral content with the rocks being tufa and travertine. 3,200 litres of water flow over the well every hour and items placed in its way are turned to stone! You can see the various pots, teddies, shoes etc. hanging down on strings. It takes between three and five months to petrify a teddy bear.
It's been a really popular destination for visitors since 1538 and even celebrities have donated various items to be hung in the Well to be turned to stone.
According to the website:
'Historia MuseumThe petrified items donated by celebrities and TV programmes over the years can be viewed in the museum at the far end of the park. Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Blue Peter have all made contributions. There is also a hat worn by John Wayne, and Agatha Christie’s handbag. Probably the most historic and valuable item is a shoe left by Queen Mary when she visited in 1923. The museum also contains a life size figure of Mother Shipton.'
Ha Ha! What do you think of that! You do have to pay to get in though.
Bye for now!