Beloved broadcaster, comedian and talk show host Jonathan Ross visited Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough to discover the mysterious legend of the Yorkshire Prophetess.

As part of his brand new TV series, Myths and Legends, Jonathan Ross has been travelling the UK on the hunt for incredible tales, mysteries and local legends. Last summer his search led him to the beautiful market town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, which is home to England’s Oldest Tourist Attraction, Mother Shipton’s Cave.

Jonathan was keen to learn more about Mother Shipton and the cave in which she’s said to have been born more than 500 years ago. Jonathan learns that it is widely believed Mother Shipton had the ability to predict the future and foretold several historical events such as the Great Fire of London and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

As well as being famed for her prophecies, Mother Shipton was also said to be a healer who created all sorts of wonderful potions and remedies. Jonathan spent time mixing his own potions using the same herbs Mother Shipton would have done hundreds of years ago.

During his visit Jonathan also visited the incredible historical landmark known as The Petrifying Well which can turn everyday items to stone. For centuries this was believed to be magic, but we now know it is due to the unusually high mineral content in the water.

The team at Mother Shipton’s asked Jonathan if he would like to donate anything to be petrified on the well to mark his visit, and he decided he would like to leave a pair of orange boxer shorts – which he affectionately called his lucky pants.

Visitors can see Jonathan’s pants hanging from the Petrifying Well at the moment and once they’ve fully turned to stone, they’ll be on display in the museum alongside other donations including Queen Mary’s petrified shoe, John Wayne’s petrified hat, and Bobby Davro’s petrified sock.

A spokesperson for Mother Shipton’s commented, “We loved having Jonathan Ross visit us last summer, he was such a down to earth and funny chap – exactly as you see him on television. He was genuinely interested and fascinated by the story of Mother Shipton and awestruck by the geological phenomenon that is the Petrifying Well. He also spoke very highly of our beautiful town of Knaresborough and very much enjoyed chatting with the locals in the pub in between filming! We are providing him and his team with regular updates on the petrification progress of the bright orange pants he left with us!”

Jonathan Ross’ Myths and Legends airs Monday 13th March at 9pm on More4.

Posted Thu 09 Mar 2023