The Weird Wolds of Yorkshire: Inside the Mysterious Wold Newton Triangle

The Weird Wolds of Yorkshire: Inside the Mysterious Wold Newton Triangle

(Read the article on one page)

‘Fold upon fold of the encircling hills, piled rich and golden,’ is how the writer (best known for her posthumous 1936 novel South Riding ) Winifred Holtby, described England’s Yorkshire Wolds.

Eighty years on, here’s how a couple of tourist guides currently describe the area: “With hidden valleys, chalk streams and peaceful villages, the Yorkshire Wolds make a refreshing change from city life or a seaside break. It’s a fabulous place to unwind and enjoy the English countryside at its best.”

But, there is also a much darker side to this mysterious countryside.

It is a place where kings built hospices to protect weary travelers from wolves – and werewolves; a place where cloistered monks chronicled the predations of zombies, vampires and aliens; a place dotted with henges, barrows, tumuli and ancient burial mounds that superstitious locals once avoided for fear of encountering the fairy folk who dwelt there.

It was here, in prehistoric times, that the first settlers in this countryside worshipped before stone monoliths, while wearing masks fashioned from the skulls of animals, and where in later times, the county’s squirearchy had their masques disturbed by the screams of an unquiet skull.

Unmatched by anywhere else in England, the Wold’s many myths and legends also include green-skinned fairy folk, headless ghosts, ancient warlords, miracle-working priests, a disappearing river, an avaricious Queen, a black skeleton, a Parkin-eating dragon, sea serpents, turkeys galore, England’s oldest buildings, shape shifters, enchanted wells, giant monoliths and a grid of ley lines.

The Wolds have a reputation for otherworldly spirits and fairy folk.

The Wolds have a reputation for otherworldly spirits and fairy folk. S.T./ Flickr

Even more strangely, it is also a place associated with some of the greatest heroes and villains of recent pulp, crime and science fiction according to the literary concept devised by science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer (1918-2009).

And all this was before the peace of the Yorkshire Wolds was disturbed by the crash of a giant meteorite falling from the sky into the center of what I have called the Wold Newton Triangle.

Where is the Wold Newton Triangle?

The western side of the Wold Newton Triangle broadly follows the path of the B1249 road across N E England’s Yorkshire Wolds from Driffield in the south, then down Staxton Hill and on into the Vale of Pickering.

The Wold Newton Triangle Roadtrip

The eastern side of the Triangle is bordered by the North Sea, running the length of the A165 coast road from Gristhorpe and Filey Brigg along to Flamborough Head and Bridlington Bay. The southern and final side of the Triangle runs parallel to the old Woldgate Roman road, which heads out from Bridlington and across what used to be called the East Riding of Yorkshire towards Stamford Bridge and York.

But why should such a place, and a relatively remote and sparsely populated place at that, throughout all its long history, be the location for so much weirdness? Is it merely coincidence or are there other factors at play to make this part of the Yorkshire Wolds a nexus or focus for the arcane, the unusual and the just plain uncanny?

When it comes to possible explanations, two candidates stand out from all the rest: the Ley Lines and the Gypsey Race River.

The Ley Lines

 If we accept that ley lines really exist then Rudston, at the heart of the Wolds, is one of the most mystical and magical locations in the country as it is the end point (or primary node) for not one but five ley lines, including one of the country’s three “Basic Alignments.” This is the Rudston to Wardstone Barrow in Dorset ley, which intersects the other two Basic Alignments (the Lands End to Hopton and the Isle of Wight to Isle of Man leys) at the Beckhampton ‘Adam’ Longstone (standing stone) near Avebury.

Junction of the Yorkshire Wolds Way with the Chalkland Way.

Junction of the Yorkshire Wolds Way with the Chalkland Way. Dr Patty McAlpin/Wikimedia Commons

Also radiating out from the monolith is the Rudston to Helvellyn ley, the Rudston to Scilly Isles ley, the Rudston to Prescelly (or Preseli Mountains – the source of the giant bluestones used to construct the inner circle of Stonhenge) in Pembroke ley, and the Rudston to Harwich ley. (Harwich is also on a ley line that runs across to Prescelly and intersects the Rudston to Wardstone ley at the King Stone monolith, part of the Rollright standing stones complex in Oxfordshire. Taken together, these last three ley lines also form the three sides of a triangle with Rudston at the apex which, if you accept the mystical significance of leys, just adds to the aura and power focused on the Rudston monolith.


Charles Christian's picture

Hi JackieC - Sadly Pocklington was outside my area but with so much history in this region – stretching back some 10,000 years of inhabitation by modern people – it would actually be more weird if the area didn’t have some strange energies and an aura about it.


Charles Christian, Norfolk (UK) – Twitter @ChristianUncut


Fascinating, and doesn't surprise me at all. I lived in Pocklington right on the edge of the Wolds for 6 months and walked the Wolds a lot, there are strange energies there that made me feel uneasy. There have been alleged sightings of a big cat around Millington (something panther-like, not a big moggy) and I was told by someone with a lot of esoteric contacts that there is a lot of dark magic practised around there. I then moved to a village 10 miles north of York, the vibe there was totally different and harmonious.

Tsurugi's picture

What about the Paranormal Parallelogram, or the Ominous Oval, or Deadly Diamond?
Curious Clover?

.... Epheremal Equilateral...? ...wait, no, that's still a triangle.


Charles Christian's picture

Sadly the Trapezium of Trepidation or the Rectangle of Regret don’t quite have the mystique of triangles ;-)

Charles Christian, Norfolk (UK) – Twitter @ChristianUncut


It's great for Yorkshire to get the limelight for a change! However; Anyone know of any mystery zones that aren't triangular? A Rhombus of Doom would be great! 


Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

“Lord Rama got fed up with asking a non-responding Varuna (God of the oceans) to help him and took up the Brahmastra.” (Fair Use) Ram Setu – a natural phenomenon or perhaps a manmade bridge built to save a queen?
Built by a king and his army to save a queen from the clutches of a rival? Or maybe a bridge to a land which led Adam to his atonement? While both of these ideas are far-fetched, current research suggests the Ram Setu link between India and Sri Lanka is not natural as most people have been told to believe, but is a man-made bridge which is thousands of years old.

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Places

The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.
Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in Ireland. If ever a building fit the stereotype of a home haunted by its bloody and tragic past, this was it...

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article