Whitby's Penny Hedge ceremony latest victim of COVID-19

The ancient tradition of the planting of the Penny Hedge at Whitby Harbour has been cancelled because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 10:40 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 10:41 am
The planting of the Penny Hedge in Whitby.

The ceremony, carried out on the eve of Ascension Day each May, dates back to 1159 when the Abbot of Whitby imposed a penance on three hunters and on their descendants for all time, for murdering a hermit on the outskirts of the town at Eskdale.

Legend has it that the hedge - the penance imposed by the Abbot - made out of woven willow stakes, must withstand three tides and the reference to penny is because a knife of a penny price must be used.

A horn blower and the bailiff of the Manor of Fylingthorpe then declare the building of the hodges complete.

The half hour exercise would have taken place on Church Street on May 20.