Myth and Folklore – The Giant Wade

Myth and Folklore – The Giant Wade 

by: Jill Derham

East Barnby’s address is 3 Wades Lane and there’s a good reason for it. The Outdoor Centre sits next to a field with two 6 foot stones, 20m apart. Legend has it that this is the grave of the infamous giant Wade. He was married to his wife Bell, also a giant and they lived together in Mulgrave Castle. Bell is said to have built this castle and Wade built Pickering castle at the same time. They were quite a poor family and only had one hammer between them. They threw the hammer 22 miles between each other as they built their castles, calling a warning out that it was coming each time. 

Wade built a road for Bell to take her cows onto the moors to milk them. Bell helped by scooping up stones in her apron. The apron strings broke and she dropped the stones, which are said to explain why there are so many stones strewn on the moors. The road was called Wades causeway and is the site of the Roman road on Wheeldale Moor. 

One day they had a row and Wade scooped on some earth to throw at her. He missed and the hill at Blakey Topping was formed. The Hole of Horcum is said to be the site from which he scooped the earth out of. 

All of the places relating to Wade and Bell are places that you can visit on a trip to East Barnby. Hope to see you soon.