31 Days of History: The Stone of Hob Moor

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Our ancient walls play canvas to a host of obscurities and hidden treasures. Often overlooked details, when explored at closer inspection can expose a plethora of secrets and intrigue.

Hob Moor is one of the ancient commons of York and is situated between Acomb, Holgate and Dringhouses. Hob Moor lies approximately 1.5 miles south-west of the Minster, not far from the Knavesmire, on the opposite side of the road to the old York gallows.

Hob Moor has a long and fascinating history. During the visitations of the plague in the 16th and 17th centuries, victims were taken from the city and accommodated in wooden lodges on Hob Moor. Plague victims would pay for the food that was brought out to them by placing money in water or vinegar in the central depression in the Plague Stone.

This process was thought to disinfect the money, thus containing the plague to the unfortunate victims. Beside the Plague Stone is the Hob Stone, the effigy of a knight of the de Ros family. It was sculpted onto an old coffin lid around 1315 and is now much eroded, but the head, shoulders and shield can still be seen. Both these stones are beside the main path (formerly known as Hob Lane) on Little Hob Moor.

These stones are rarely noticed now but if you do have a moment to pass by, take a few minutes to look at the stones and contemplate on when these now forgotten obscurities meant something very real to the people of York during the often dark times of the 16th and 17th centuries.





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