Leven Falls

In search of the “Leven Falls” somewhere downstream of Hutton Rudby. I recall reading of its existence in at least one guide book to Cleveland. Apparently, it was a popular Edwardian picnic spot.

The falls are located just a few hundred metres downstream from Foxton Bridge, a crossing of the Leven which I have done several times this lockdown year on my bike.

The old O.S. map records the site as a Stone Mill (corn), even the modern version shows a weir, but although I wasn’t looking particularly I didn’t notice any ruins. The falls seem to me to be over a natural outcrop of sandstone.

Not so at the dam for Middleton Mill, another corn mill, a mile or so further downstream where dressed stone abutments are obvious although the dam itself has long been breached.

I also took the opportunity to have a look around Castle Hill, the site of a 12th-century castle. According to John Walker Ord, it was supposedly occupied by a branch of the Meynell family of Whorlton who had to repel constant attacks from the Scots during the reign of Edward II. Well worth a visit with sharply defined earthworks; especially if you like your historic monuments to be uncommercialised.

Making my way back to the “Falls”, it was evident it is still a popular place to gather, to socialise around a bonfire with the added attractions of filling balloons with helium and letting off fireworks.

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