Mother Shipton's Cave

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Mother Shipton's cave

Mother Shipton's Cave (or "Old Mother Shipton's Cave") is at Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England, near to the River Nidd. Nearby is a petrifying well[1] which is the oldest entrance-charging tourist attraction in England, open since 1630.[2] The water of the well is rich in sulphate and carbonate[1] which is deposited as a ramp and screen below, and in which artefacts are "petrified" (encrusted) as a tourist attraction.[3]

The place is associated with the legendary soothsayer and prophetess Mother Shipton (c. 1488 - 1561), born Ursula Southeil, wife of Toby Shipton. According to legend she was born in the cave. The cave and dropping well, together with other attractions, remain open to visitors and are run by Mother Shipton's Cave Ltd.[2]


  1. ^ a b Benjamin Arthur Burrell (1896). "Analysis of the Water from the Dropping Well at Knaresborough, in Yorkshire". Journal of the Chemical Society, Transactions. 69: 536–539. doi:10.1039/ct8966900536.
  2. ^ a b "Mother Shipton's Cave website". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  3. ^ Anthony H. Cooper, Noelle E. Odling, Phillip J. Murphy, CLaire Miller, Christopher J. Greenwood, David S. Brown (2013). "The role of sulfate-rich springs and groundwater in the formation of sinkholes over gypsum in eastern England". Proceedings of the Thirteenth Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst: 141–150. doi:10.5038/9780979542275.1122.

Coordinates: 54°00′31″N 1°28′29″W / 54.008691°N 1.474705°W / 54.008691; -1.474705