Visiting wetlands is a rarity for me and has been almost non-existent since this pandemic started. I’ve been keeping an eye then on this little marshy nature reserve in the small valley between the Bousdale ridge and Grove Hill. The valley went by the Old Scandinavian name of Tinghoudale or ‘the valley beside the mound used by the council meeting’. The ‘mound’ obviously points to Grove Hill in the distance so may have had some administrative significance.
The nature reserve is maintained by the Pinchinthorpe Walkway Visitor Centre, the walkway using the trackway of the old Middlesbrough & Guisborough Railway which ran through the dale. The marsh is still hibernating from the winter, only a pair of mallards disturbing the water surface but I look forward when Spring awakens it.
Tinghoudale is mentioned in the charter of the hospital of St. Leonard of Lowcross granted to Guisborough Priory. The hospital was granted the right to collect wood from Tinghoudale. The hospital itself was located near the meeting of the boundaries of Hutton, Barnaby and Pinchinthorpe, that is somewhere near Lowcross Farm adjacent to the Visitor Centre. The hospital seems to have gone out of use by the middle of the 14th-century,
This is the ‘Leper Hospital’ located on early Ordnance Survey maps as being south of Home Farm in Hutton. It is considered to be an error.