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West Witton

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West Witton is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. Located in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales it lies on the A684 (the main road between Leyburn and Hawes). The village is the first one on the A684 to lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There is also an East Witton about five miles away in Coverdale.The village is famous locally for its "Burning of Bartle" ceremony held on the Saturday nearest 24 August (St Bartholomew's Day).A larger than life effigy of 'Bartle' is paraded around the village, complete with glowing eyes. Bartle stops at various strategic places to recite the doggerel, before finally being burnt at Grassgill End to much merry singing.The doggerel is:On Penhill Crags he tore his rags; Hunter's Thorn he blew his horn; Capplebank Stee happened a misfortune and brak' his knee; Grisgill Beck he brak' his neck; Wadham's End he couldn't fend; Grassgill End we'll mak' his end. Shout, lads, shout.At Grassgill end they burn the Bartle effigy. This celebration has its similarities to Guy Fawkes night.The educator Eric James, Baron James of Rusholme lived in West Witton, and after his death had his ashes scattered there.
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