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Grinkle Woods

It says ”Mally Harbutts Tree” on this Richardson’s postcard, but now known to be an incorrect spelling. Molly Harbutt a Scots lady, was the witch of the woods who lived in this tree beside the bridge over Greenhowe Beck, near Scaling Mill. She was an early equivalent of a homeopathist, preparing potions and reading fortunes. According to legend she was able to change her shape to a large brown hare, finally being shot by a hunter and subsequently found dying in human form in the branches of this tree. The tree is marked on maps dating from 1856! Hence all sign of the tree are now long gone. Chris Twigg comments: “The position of the photographer can still be projected today, but alas the tree is long gone!” But we would still like to know who or why is the man in the tree.

Image courtesy of Alan Richardson, additional information courtesy of Cody McKay and thanks to Chris Twigg for the update.

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