Today, Staxton Vale is a place of peace among landscaped grounds in the beautiful countryside of the Vale of Pickering, but it wasn’t always this way. This area south of Scarborough has long been associated with myth and legend. It is a land where wolves once roamed, prehistoric peoples worshipped before stone monoliths, and fearsome beasts are said to have assailed weary travellers.
Take a look out of the window of your luxury lodge and ponder for a moment what lies beyond the hedgerow.
The Flixton Werewolf
A short stroll along the road from Staxton Vale is the village of Flixton. Accounts of a fearsome beast in the vicinity, a wolf that stood upright, with ferocious glowing eyes, massive teeth and exuding a terrible stench, date back over 1,000 years. So bad was the situation, in an area that once would have been covered in dense forest, that a hostel was built in Flixton in around the year 940 to protect wayfarers from the packs of wolves, and possibly the half-man, half-beast version, that terrorised the area. Accounts of the Flixton Werewolf have continued right up until recent times, with motorists encountering the monster on the B1249 that runs to Staxton Hill.
The mysteries of Starr Carr
The flat, boggy, peaty fields of Starr Carr lie just to the north of Staxton. Long drained for agricultural use, the area was once a lake, wetland and reed swamp. The nature of the earth has preserved some remarkable archaeological finds.
Starr Carr is the most renowned Mesolithic site in Britain and is thought to date to 8,500 BC. Among the humdrum evidence unearthed here of daily life as it was thousands of years ago, are hints of the shamanic and worshipful. Over 30 antler headdresses and masks fashioned from animal skulls have been discovered, which were worn during rituals and dances.
The Gypsey Race River
A few miles due south of Staxton runs the Gypsey Race River. During the summer months, the stream is dry, but during periods of heavy rainfall, the Gypsey Race springs to life and runs to the North Sea at Bridlington. The appearance of the watercourse is said to be a harbinger of doom.
Known as the “waters of woe”, legend has it that the Gypsey Race flooded before the Black Death, the English Civil War, the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague of 1665, the First World War and World War II, and foretold many poor harvests and harsh winters. Should it appear this year, what would the Gypsey Race foretell this time?
If you’re considering purchasing a holiday home in this historical area, contact our team today.