Newton Dale

Perhaps the most spectacular of the North York Moors dales. Newton Dale rises in the ominous sounding Fen Bog and winds its way south to Pickering along a narrow valley with sheer sides gouged by glacial meltwaters. The wooded slopes are dominated by commercial forestry but with scattered deciduous pockets with their autumnal colours. It might be expected that such a deep valley would have a river as a watercourse. But no, only a beck, Pickering Beck, flows down its bottom. However, the North York Moors Railway does run down the dale but it was disappointing that no train came by today during my brief visit.

On the far left, on Corn Hill Point, stands the ruined Skelton Tower, a Grade II list building. Described as a shooting lodge it was built in 1830 by the Rev. Robert Skelton and is rumoured to be his hideaway where he would write his sermons in peace. An upmarket garden shed. When it was built the moorland about may still have shown traces of cultivation when it was used for growing crops during the Napoleonic wars.
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