Out & About …

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

Category: Danby

  • The Coombs

    The Coombs

    The moors have been transformed into a vibrant green as bilberries blanket the landscape. From this vantage point in the Esk valley, overlooking a basin resembling an armchair at the northern edge of Danby Rigg, known as ‘The Coombs.’ A captivating scene which caught the attention of Rev. Canon Atkinson, who dedicated fifty years as […]

  • Nan Hardwicke — Witch or Hare? The Folklore of Cleveland

    Nan Hardwicke — Witch or Hare? The Folklore of Cleveland

    There are very few Cleveland villages which, at one time or another, one of the inhabitants had not been stigmatised as a witch. More often than not, it was some lonely old woman, past her childbearing age, probably widowed but more than likely without any degree of patriarchal protection. The most celebrated of these witches […]

  • Revd. J C Atkinson’s ‘Forty Years in a Moorland Parish’

    Revd. J C Atkinson’s ‘Forty Years in a Moorland Parish’

    I have often referred to the Reverend John Christopher Atkinson’s book, ‘Forty Years in a Moorland Parish,’ published in 1891. It offers a detailed account of life in and around the village of Danby, and is a much thumbed addition to my bookshelf. This morning I ventured into Danby Dale, Atkinson’s former parish. Atkinson was […]

  • Sandwith Slack

    Sandwith Slack

    Or is it Ewe Crag Slack? Where the watershed lies between the two slacks is not obvious. For almost a kilometre the broad depression that crosses the North Cleveland watershed at 236m. asl. on Danby Low Moor, cuts no contour line. To the north it drains into Sandwith Slack then into Haw Beck and the […]

  • Danby Botton

    Danby Botton

    Danby Dale’s middle section is termed ‘Danby Botton’, where Botton comes  from an Old Scandinavian word ‘Botn’ for a hollow. The farm nearest is Stormy Hall which is the centre of a tradition dating from the time that Danby Castle was in the possession of the Latimers. Apparently, the hall takes its name from the fact […]

  • Clither Beck

    Clither Beck

    Ruined cottages at Clither Beck. In the distance is Clitherbeck Farm or ‘Doubting Castle’ as it used to be called. Why, oh why was it renamed? This valley was once the scene of extensive coal mining activity. The coal comprised two seams overall 38cm thick with 10cm of shale in the middle at a depth […]

  • Scallywag hideout

    Scallywag hideout

    A few weeks ago I had a tip off about a WW2 ‘Auxiliary Unit‘ operations base above Danby Park overlooking Castleton (thanks, Chris). This would have been the hideout for a special detachment of the Home Guard which would have operated as a guerrilla force in the event of a German invasion. Although these were […]

  • Danby Rigg, flanked by Little Fryup Dale and Danby Dale

    Danby Rigg, flanked by Little Fryup Dale and Danby Dale

    The sunshine made a refreshing change from the low cloud and mizzle of the last few days. This is taken on the descent from Danby Beacon looking due south. Just left of centre is Danby Castle, a partially ruined 14th-century pile built by the Latimer family, now part of a working farm with Court Leet […]

  • Stanch Bullen and Round Hill

    Stanch Bullen and Round Hill

    I’ve always thought this was Fairy Cross Plain but that is not strictly correct. That name belongs to the col just off to the right, where Little Fryup Dale becomes Great Fryup Dale, where the myth persisted through the centuries as the home of elves and fairies. The small rounded knoll has a more descriptive […]

  • Nothing to see here …

    Nothing to see here …

    Just a scene of everyday countryfolk mingling prior to exercising their natural right to kill the red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scotica. The keepers, beaters and general folk of a lower class were mustering out of shot. Grouse shooting has been declared an “organised outdoor sport” or “licensed outdoor physical activity” and as such is exempted […]