Yorkshire N, W & E

Mother Shipton's Cave

Knaresborough, North Yorkshire HG5 8DD

Mother Shipton's Cave

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Mother Shipton is England’s most famous Prophetess.

She lived some 500 years ago in the times of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. She was born in a cave beside Knaresborough’s mysterious Petrifying Well, delivered as lightning crackled and burned in a violent storm. As she grew older, her prophetic visions became known and feared throughout England. She foretold the invasion and defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588; and Samuel Pepys’s Diary grimly records that Mother Shipton gave forewarning of the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Beside the Cave is the famous Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Curiosity has drawn millions of visitors over hundreds of years, to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone – as if by magic! The Cave and the Well lie at the heart of the Mother Shipton Estate – a relic of the Ancient Forest of Knaresborough. The beautiful riverside walks and carriage drive were classically landscaped with beech trees in the 18th century. “Sir Henry Slingsby’s Long Walk” leads visitors to the Cave and Well.

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