Travellers in Bilsdale on the North York Moors are quite pleased to see The Sun Inn in this remote countryside, an ideal place to stop for refreshment. This was a popular haunt at the turn of the 19th century of Bobbie Dawson and his friends from the local Bilsdale Hunt. When Bobbie died in 1902, his gravestone ended up in front of the pub, although it was originally intended for the churchyard grave where Bobbie is buried, but the vicar objected due to the fact that the stone is carved with a fox’s face and brush and a hunting crop surmounted by an old fashioned hunting horn. So Bobbie’s friends put it outside his local pub where it has remained to this day. The inscription reads :
‘ In memory of Bobbie Dawson,
Died June 17th 1902.
Whip to Bilsdale Hunt for upwards of 60 years.
Also wicket keeper for Spout House Cricket Club for many years.
Spout House, a ‘cruck’ built building with a thatched roof, built in 1570 , still stands alongside. Now fully restored, it was the inn until the Sun was built in 1914 to replace it, and has a very fine ‘inglenook’
The locals will tell you that it is thought that Bilsdale was named after William the Conqueror, he who decided to deal with the northerner’s who were resisting his rule and it was in 1069 that William was passing through Bilsdale, which now carries the B1257 road between Helmsley and Cleveland. Chroniclers tell us that ‘During the harrowing of the north in 1069, William passed through this wild region and made his way amid cold and ice of winter. He kep hissen warm wi sweering.’ King Billy as he was known was noted for bad language which gives rise to a local saying, ‘Swearing like Billy Norman , or swearing like Billyo.
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Photo taken in Rievaulx, North Yorkshire YO62, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location