Out & About …

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

Month: March 2022

  • Bracing Bilsdale

    Bracing Bilsdale

    I find there’s something bracing about being out after a fresh fall of snow. Particularly an unexpected fall of snow. This is Bilsdale, looking south from Hasty Bank. The settlement left of centre is the hamlet of Urra. Elgee wrote that “it is a trite axiom geology that the width of a valley and not […]

  • Midnight Corner

    Midnight Corner

    A pretty drouky day. Snow flakes as big as cats’ paws but melting on reaching the ground. I kept low, exploring little used tracks of Greenhow Bank, sheltered by the forestry. This area of Sitka spruce must have been cleared about five years ago, so I must have seen the view before but it’s only […]

  • Samuel Liddle 1919-1944

    Samuel Liddle 1919-1944

    A few weeks ago I wrote about 16-year-old Mary Liddle who, in 1930, was awarded the R.S.P.C.A.’s Gold Medal for her bravery in helping to rescue a sheep from a disused stone mine. Adam and Elizabeth Liddle with their family of eight children were living at Lonsdale House Farm (now called Oak Tree Farm). That’s […]

  • The foxes are making coffee

    The foxes are making coffee

    Looking back as I topped Cliff Rigg this morning, I was reminded of my first crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk on 14 June 1969. We had left the trig. point on Scarth Wood Moor at 12:30 a.m., so was crossing the ‘four sisters’ of the Cleveland Hills in time for a 4 a.m. breakfast […]

  • Chequerboard moorland

    Chequerboard moorland

    I suppose it would be petty of me to whine about this anthropogenic change to the moors created by mowing of the heather moorland. I should be thankful that this moor is no longer being burn and great plumes of smoke waft across the skyline but I fear the random patches of the old black […]

  • Rosedale Glass Works

    Rosedale Glass Works

    I’ve been meaning to explore the lower part of Rosedale for some time. especially the site of an Elizabethan glass works. A lovely Spring day with blue skies but the site of the works were a little underwhelming. The ruins of a building associated with a 19th-century sandstone quarry was much more interesting. On the […]

  • Newton-under-Roseberry


    Otherwise known as Newton-in-Cleveland. The base camp for any ascent of Roseberry Topping. The renown local historian John Walker Ord, writing in 1846, described Newton as “a small, dirty, insignificant village, consisting of a few small huts, without any pretensions to beauty or order whatever”. Twelve years later, Walter White (an early tourist from Berkshire) […]

  • “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep!”

    “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep!”

    Ah, warm sunshine and lambs gambolling in the fields. A sure sign that Spring is here. Everyone knows the nursery rhyme. Once said to have been a proletarian cry in the Middle Ages because the tremendous demand for wool meant that farming land had been turned into pasture for sheep. Thousands of farmhands were thrown […]

  • The Three Witches Oak

    The Three Witches Oak

    Since my last visit, this veteran oak has acquired a new epithet: ‘The Three Witches Oak‘ — from a story in J.J. Hutton’s ‘Murder, Mysteries and Tales of the Supernatural in the North Riding of Yorkshire‘. It’s the tale of three witches, Auld Nan Scaife o’ Spaunton Moor, Auld Nan Anne Pierson of Westerdale, and […]

  • Side-tracked by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

    Side-tracked by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

    I am slowly getting around every boundary stone on these northern moors. This one is inscribed “RY 1752”, identical to the stone 600m or so to the south west. Ralph Yoward must have had a bulk buy. 1752 — George II was on the throne; the 11 days between 3rd and 13th September inclusive were […]