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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Sculptor: Christopher Kelly

Materials: Bronze and wood

Unveiled: 3 October 2017

Mother Shipton, Ursula Sontheil

Mother Shipton, Ursula Sontheil (c.1488—1561 ) was a soothsayer and prophet. There are various legends surrounding her life. The child of an unmarried teenage mother, she was born and brought up for the first two years of her life in a cave on the banks of the river Nidd in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. There were rumours her mother, Agnes, was a witch and she was the child of the devil. The abbot of Beverley intervened and sent her mother to a convent, while Ursula went to live with a local family. She was born with crooked back and needed to use a stick, her nose was hooked and she had a very prominent chin, these deformities resulted in her being taunted and she spent a lot of time alone in the woods learning about plants and their healing properties. She married a local carpenter, called Tom Shipton in 1512. The couple were childless and when he died in 1521 she moved back to live in the cave and the woods. People went to her for spells, potions and remedies. In later life, she claimed she could see the future, began to make prophesies and became known as Mother Shipton.

Location: Market Place, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire HG5 8AL