"Important to keep it going" - Penny Hedge planted once again in Whitby harbour

The Penny Hedge has been planted once again in Whitby’s Upper Harbour in a quirky traditional ceremony dating back to 1159.

Each year, on the eve of Ascension Day, on the east bank of the River Esk in Whitby, a short hedge is constructed from stakes woven together, able to withstand three tides.

This year’s planting was carried out on a fine morning, before a good crowd, by Lol Hodgson and Tim Osborne.

On completion of the hedge, a horn was sounded followed by three cries of “Out on Ye!” while members of Whitby Community Choir followed by singing The Famous Penny Hedge.

Tim Osborne, horn blower and hedge builder, said it was “really good” to see a decent crowd witness the ancient tradition once again and added: “It’s part of Whitby’s history isn’t it?

"It’s important to keep it going.”

On Saturday May 11, The Whitby Bookshop on Church Street is hosting the launch of a new book, The Penny Hedge – Whitby’s Rustic Curiosity, by Alastair Laurence.

The book explores the origins, legends and modern history of the Horngarth ceremony and planting of The Penny Hedge.

You can meet Mr Laurence at the signing at 1pm on the day.

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