Out & About …

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


240 years ago today, in 1778, Captain James Cook made landfall on the Hawaiian Islands, the first European to do so. Did he pass any thoughts about his younger life in the Cleveland Hills? It’s highly likely that there would have been snow on the moors on that day. England was gripped in the Little Ice Age, winters were colder. In London, the River Thames regularly froze over enough to hold frost fairs, although 1778 was not one of those years. There is, of course, no evidence that Cook actually stood on this spot on Ernaldsti, the ancient route south, looking down the shallow boggy valley of Rivelingdale, but I like to imagine the young lad exploring his local moors. Ernaldsti is better known today as Percy Rigg and Rivelingdale, a name mentioned in a 13th-century Latin document titled “Cartularium Priory de Gyseburne”, is Codhill Slack.

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