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There is a legend that in the 7th century Abbess Hilda rounded up the serpents that swarmed on the site of her Abbey at Whitby. As she hurled them from the cliff top each unfortunate snake lost its head.

'Snakestones' are the coiled fossil shells of ammonites. Locals carved heads on the snakestones to make the resemblance to a serpent more convincing.


Further info   Whitby Abbey
snakehead ammonite