Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Author: Fhithich

  • Beyond the Mist β€” The Battle of Stokesley

    Beyond the Mist β€” The Battle of Stokesley

    This morning, the air on Great Ayton Moor was crystal clear, but away in the south-west, a low mist crept up the Vale of Cleveland, making the wind turbines at Seamer look like they’re levitating. That white house yonder caught my eye. Turns out, it’s Howe Hill. Now, I can therefore take a brief detour…

  • Siberia on the Moors β€” A Lost Railway Community

    Siberia on the Moors β€” A Lost Railway Community

    For nigh on seventy years, this exposed stretch on Greenhow Moor, with its splendid panorama of the Cleveland Plain and beyond, served as home for a community of railway workers and their families. Sited at the top of the Ingleby Incline, a cluster of building once stood here, in a location so remote and exposed…

  • A Tale of Erosion and Repair on Roseberry Topping

    A Tale of Erosion and Repair on Roseberry Topping

    Roseberry Topping, perhaps the most popular honey pot in Cleveland, bears the weight of incessant foot traffic. Prior to the National Trust’s takeover in 1975, the upkeep was a bit lax, as it was deemed mere agricultural land. Fast forward to 1995, the Trust had rolled up its sleeves and pumped some serious effort into…

  • Ghosts on the Hambleton Road β€” Echoes of Drovers and a Lost Farmstead

    Ghosts on the Hambleton Road β€” Echoes of Drovers and a Lost Farmstead

    High Mossy Grange, just off High Lane, that’s the local name for this section of Hambleton Road, an ancient route snaking from the southern reaches of England to bonny Scotland. Used to be a post-medieval farmstead, but now High Mossy Grange has all but been wiped off the map. What’s left is this patch of…

  • Why is today, 29th February, Leap Day?

    Why is today, 29th February, Leap Day?

    For the first time in God knows how long, today proved unsuccessful in venturing into the hills. So, I am resorted to share one from the archives. On the last Leap Day, the 29th of February, 2020, the skies painted a blue canvas above Roseberry. Oh, those naΓ―ve days, as Covid was on the verge…

  • Priest’s Spa Quarry and its elusive spring

    Priest’s Spa Quarry and its elusive spring

    On Hither Moor, this 19th century sandstone quarry overlooks the road winding up the Cod Beck dale between Osmotherley and Scarth Nick. Nowadays, the dale is best known for its reservoir that draws quite the crowd. The quarry, mapped as “Priests’ Spa” by the early Ordnance Survey, owes its name to a spring allegedly blessed…

  • Elfi The Dwarf β€” The Story Told at Ye Sign of the Fox & Hounds, Urra

    Elfi The Dwarf β€” The Story Told at Ye Sign of the Fox & Hounds, Urra

    The notion of transcribing these ancient folk tales of Richard Blakeborough, thought to be a splendid idea at first, an idea born during the Covid lockdown, now gnaws at my conscience with growing unease. Recent reports detailing the modification of Roald Dahl’s cherished works, altering words deemed offensive and rewriting character descriptions in an attempt…

  • Hutton Moor β€” Biodiversity vs. Profit

    Hutton Moor β€” Biodiversity vs. Profit

    This is Hutton Moor at the northern end of the Percy Cross Rigg track. I see that the self-seeded birch and spruce that have sprouted on the heather moorland have been unceremoniously cut down. The rationale is clear; if left unchecked, the moorland will eventually transform into a birch woodland. However, this does come at…

  • No wheeple from this whaup

    No wheeple from this whaup

    No plaintive cry echoed through the air. It was the silhouette that gave it away: that lengthy and slender bill that bent downward. I casually approached at an oblique angle, yearning for a better shot. Amidst the heather, its speckled brown feathers made spotting it quite a challenge. Alas, my audacious closeness prompted it to…

  • The Enduring Enigma of the Sledge Shoe House Reservoir

    The Enduring Enigma of the Sledge Shoe House Reservoir

    Situated between Blakey Junction and the west calcining kilns, just before the Rosedale Abbey to Hutton-le-Hole road at Bank Top, there lies a small reservoir near the former farmstead of Sledge Shoe House, sustained by moorland springs. Yet, it has been brought to my attention that this presents a puzzle. It is acknowledged that the…