Stewart House Whitby

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High Quality Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in a Georgian Town House in Whitby

Planting of the Penny Hedge

Also known as the ceremony of Horngarth, this takes place on the eve of Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter (the dating of which, as everyone may know, was settled by the Synod of Whitby in 664).  The story behind the tradition is that it's a penance by 2 'noblemen' that killed a hermit, who prevented the end of a boar hunt by shutting the dying animal in a chapel, where it had sought refuge.

The hedge is constructed of 9 hazel stakes, driven into the mud with an ancient mallet, intertwined with 9 yethers and braced with strout-stowers.

When finished, there follows 3 blasts on the ancient ram's horn, followed by the thrice-cried "Out on ye!" by the Bailiff (of the ancient Manor of Fyling).

The hedge must last 3 tides.  (To be fair, it often lasts the whole year.)

Considerably more information may be found on the website below: http://www.whitbymuseum.org.uk/whist/penn.htm