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The hill in the top left of this photo is ‘Simons Seat’, situated near the little village of ‘Appletreewick’ in beautiful Wharfedale. It is cloaked in mystery and magic.

Many people walk to the summit and the views from the top are stunning. But few people know that there are some Bronze Age ‘cup and ring’ markings on the summit rocks, and several stones in the valley bottom also contain them. There is a beautiful little prehistoric stone circle nearby (I will post about it later). There was a big Neolithic settlement near here 5000 years ago, and there is still evidence of burial cairns , enclosures, standing stones and other strange rock carvings in the fields around the hill.

As for the name, legend asserts that:

“It was upon the top of this mountain that an infant was found by a shepherd, who took it to his home, and after feeding and clothing it, he had the child named Simon; being himself but a poor man, he was unable to maintain the foundling, when it was ultimately agreed to by the shepherds, that the child should be kept “amang ‘em.”  The child was called Simon Amangham and the descendants of this child are now living in Wharfedale.”

…although another legend has it  that it was the seat of a giant called (yes, you guessed it) ‘Simon’ – and yet another legend says it is named after the Great Druid ‘Simon Magus’ who supposedly ‘practised’ here, but probably the answer is much more complicated than that.

In the valley bottom (near where this photograph is taken) is the infamous ‘Trollers Gill’, with it’s attendant goblins, faery’s and a ‘barguest’ – a big black dog which is supposed to haunt the gorge. Even on a sunny day it is spooky.

‘Trollers’ is worth of it’s own post and I will do one shortly.

Funnily enough, it is about 20 minutes from where I live, but for some reason I rarely visit. I must change that – it is one of the most intriguing, mysterious and haunted places in all England – and the whole area is incredibly photogenic too!