|This week we're off to Sleights
The name means 'flat land near water'. This must presumably refer to an old location for Sleights, as presently the majority of the village is located on hillsides on either side of the River Esk. There are many sights to see while touring around the Esk Valley, making the area not one to forget. From here country lanes lead to intriguing places such as Ugglebarnby, Littlebeck and Eskdaleside. The village was the birthplace of Flint Jack, one of Yorkshire's great characters. In the mid-19th century he created fake antiques which fooled even the real experts.
Sleights once had a small chapel inhabited by a monk. Legend has it that a boar was hidden by the monk during a hunt and the enraged hunters beat him to death. The Abbot of Whitby suggested a penance, that on Ascension Day each year the men or their descendants must gather sticks to the value of a penny and plant the sticks in the harbor before nine o'clock in the morning. If the woven hedge did not survive three tides, the men or their survivors had to forfeit their lands to the Abbey. The "Penny Hedge" as it became known, withstood the tides for 800 years but in 1981 a high tide covered the sticks in eight feet of water. The descendants were freed from their forfeit, but the annual ceremony continues.