Who was Hob?
Where does the name Hob Moor come from? In one document dated 1374 it is called ‘yhorkesmore’ and later York Moor, but also Hob Moor, Obmore and Hobb Moor. The truth is that we don’t know where the name came from, but here are some theories:
- The wording on the Hob Stone, erected 1717, states ‘This image long Hob’s name has bore who was a knight in time of yore and gave this common to ye poor’. It could be from Robert (‘Rob’/’Hob’) de Ros who may have been the knight who gave Hob Moor to the poor.
- ‘Hob’ is the familiar form of ‘Rob’ and may refer to Robin Goodfellow, half fairy and half human. Robin Goodfellow is a trickster, a will-o’-the-wisp, a marsh-spirit or moor-spirit. Small flames flickering over marshy ground, caused by self-igniting gases from decaying plants, gave rise to this widespread belief.
- Hob is, of course, another name for the devil….