Archive for Knaresborough

Stone Hats and a Shoe Tree

Posted in HISTORY, PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by echostains

shoe tree

A tree displaying shoes in Nevada gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘shoe tree’ (a device for preserving the shape of the shoe).  These instruments are also made from wood – but there the similarity ends.  What intrigues me about all these shoes is how they have managed to display them all, securing them into what looks like a very tall tree.  Were they all done by the same person or individuals?  Are there any pairs of shoes in there – or are they all odd?

odd or paired?

It’s strange to think of all these shoes baking away in Nevada in the summer and frozen in the winter,  though no stranger than the shoes or other objects preserved by water at famous prophetess Mother Shipton ‘s petrifying well in Knaresborough Yorkshire

the Hanging Well

This is one of England’s  oldest visiting attraction (1630). The magical qualities of the water preserve by petrification the objects (including shoes) which are displayed.

Mother Shipton (Ursula Southill) herself was said to have been born in a nearby cave and prophesied many happenings.  Her prophesies took the form of poems, but there is still some debate about her authorship.

Mother Shipton's cave, said to be her birthplace

 The Hanging well (as it is known locally) still displays two petrified hats – a bonnet and a top hat which were left by a couple on their way to York races in 1854.  I have visited Knaresborough a few times.  It is a delightful and picturesque historical market town and dates from around Norman times.  Among the attractions is The House in the Rock (which we went into many years ago).  Next door to that is a chapel that dates from the Middle ages also set into the rock.  I have photographs, of the hanging well, Mother Shipton’s cave and from inside House in the Rock.  I shall do another post about House in the Rock when I find my pictures 🙂

Info from here

images from here   and here  and also here   Mother Shpton’s own website  Thanks also to this site  for the shoe tree images

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