Round them parts, they say the spirit of the wicked pig-stealing Giant of Penhill can still be sensed.
Or was he a sheep rustler who met his end at the hands of irate farmers who put him to trial in the local church? Either way, he’ll meet a fiery end this Saturday, when Bartle is put to the torch in the Wensleydale village of West Witton.
The event is held each year on the weekend closest to St Bartholemew’s Day – 24 August – when a straw effigy of the legendary Bartle is burned after being paraded by locals round various parts of the North Yorkshire village.
If it all sounds a bit like twelvety people rounding up Tubs and Edward’s victims, be reassured: the locals are friendly. To prove it, they’ve set up a series of mosaics along the route and are launching the project at the weekend.
A leaflet of the route, which climbs to the 526m Penhill, is available for download from the Yorkshire Dales National Park website at http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/a3_bartle_tra_$b!d_(b_leaflet_proof_(2).pdf .
Each mosaic is at one of the places named in the rhyme which is chanted to accompany the ritual. Residents of West Witton produced the mosaics with Thirsk charity Ruralarts.
The legend of the unfortunate Bartle is at least 400 years old.