A WELL-KNOWN writer and comedian dropped in at a North Yorkshire visitor attraction and left a little gift.

Stewart Lee visited Knaresborough on Wednesday (August 26) for a post-lockdown family trip to Mother Shipton’s Cave.

The strange attraction boasts an impressive petrifying well, which turns items to stone as if by magic, due to the unusually high mineral content in the water.

The museum at Mother Shipton’s already contains a selection of petrified items from celebrities, including Dame Agatha Christie’s Handbag, John Wayne’s hat and Bobby Davro’s sock and Mr Lee decided to leave something of his very own for posterity.

A spokesman for the attraction said: "A team member recognised the stand-up comedian and asked if he had anything to petrify.

"Of course, what better item to commemorate his socially-distanced adventure than a bottle of hand sanitiser gel?"

The gel will be strung under the petrifying well to slowly turn to stone.

Unlike the porous teddy bears that petrify very quickly, this small plastic bottle may be hanging for quite some time – even up to two years - before it forms a crust.

The petrifying well is the oldest entrance-charging tourist attraction in England, open since 1630.

Stewart Lee first came to prominence in the mid-1990s as one half of the comedy duo Lee and Herring, alongside Richard Herring and is a regular fixture on the stand-up scene, having played York venues many times over the years.

Mother Shipton's Cave tells the tale of a legendary prophetess and is operating a pre-booked car ticket system.

Contact info@mothershipton.co.uk