The Yorkshire beauty spot so pretty it has a song written about it

It’s one of Yorkshire’s treasures, offering stunning natural beauty and jaw-dropping views.

In fact, it’s such an incredible spot, it even had a song written about it.

Ilkley Moor, sat between Keighley and Ilkley, attracts people from all over the country who come to visit the Cow and Calf rocks.


The moor rises to 402 metres above sea level meaning people are also treated to spectacular views of Yorkshire.

And the breathtaking moors were the inspiration behind the unofficial county anthem for Yorkshire.

Written between 1850-1870, we all know ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’ (‘On Ilkley Moor Without a Hat’ for all you offcomers).

The original music was composed by Thomas Clark, a Canterbury-based shoemaker in 1805.

The Ilkley Moor ditty is sung to the Methodist hymn tune Cranbrook and it became so popular that the original hymn has almost been forgotten in the UK.

In The Yorkshire Dictionary by Arnold Kellett, it says the lyrics probably originated from the Halifax area, based on the dialect which is not common to all areas of Yorkshire.

He adds that the song was created following a ramble and picnic on the moor.

The ramblers are also believed to have been on a chapel choir outing.

These are the lyrics to the song in the Yorkshire dialect:

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

Tha’s been a cooartin’ Mary Jane

Tha’s bahn’ to catch thy deeath o’ cowd

Then us’ll ha’ to bury thee

Then t’worms’ll come an’ eyt thee oop

Then t’ducks’ll come an’ eyt up t’worms

Then us’ll go an’ eyt up t’ducks

Then us’ll all ha’ etten thee

That’s wheear we get us ooan back


YorkshireLive – Halifax