Out & About …

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

Great Dinnod

Great Dinnod

It’s good to feel freed from the restrictions of lockdown and the warmth of the spring sunshine. Not many crowds out here. I’m exploring the moors to the south west of Scaling Dam. Waupley Moor, Easington High Moor, Danby Low Moor and Lealholm Moor.

I do like these moors. They’re more varied than those on the west. Still predominately heather clad though but with significant patches of grasses, sedges and bog. The contours lines are more squiggly too. Perhaps that’s the reason for the bogs.

If you’re lucky the boundary between one moor and the next might follow a stream, but more often than not it will be just a straight line on the map connecting two feature or landmarks.

Great Dinnod, East Face
Great Dinnod, East Face

Great Dinnod is one such landmark, but it would be hard to find in the mist. Just one contour encircling a flattish knoll. There is said to have been a boundary stone here since the 13th-century1“HER Map: North York Moors National Park.” North York Moors National Park, 2021, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map. GREAT DINNOND NYMNPA HER Record No: 5053/5180. Cleveland HER Point SMR: 3741. Accessed 30 Mar. 2021.. That may well be it lying prone on the ground. Perhaps it’s broken, which may explain why it hasn’t been re-erected.

In its place, a concrete post stands. A travesty yet it’s calcareous content makes it a perfect habitat for Xanthoria aureola, a lichen which is not usually found on the acidic northern moors.

On the west face are the initials ‘D T’ and on the east ‘G T’. I’m not sure what these stand for. Someone has suggested D is Danby and G is Glaisdale. But T? Township?

Mystery object
Mystery object

About 600m away is another knoll, Little Dinnod, which is not even worthy of a ring contour, but is the next landmark on the boundary. I had been tipped off (thanks, John) that half way between the two is a peculiar piece of iron work.

It’s about the size of a manhole cover, like a wheel with five spokes, yet the absence of a rim and a boss on outside (12 o’clock position on the photo) would rule out it being a railway wheel or similar. There are some letters in the casting but they’re too corroded to be readable. It is close (100m or so) to the line of the railway that was never built, so my best guess so far is that it’s some scrap left over from the building of the earthworks for that.

Oh yes, and it seems to be covering a water filled sump yet it is not located at a low point in the terrain.

I have put a few feelings out but if anyone has any ideas it would be appreciated.

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    “HER Map: North York Moors National Park.” North York Moors National Park, 2021, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map. GREAT DINNOND NYMNPA HER Record No: 5053/5180. Cleveland HER Point SMR: 3741. Accessed 30 Mar. 2021.





5 responses to “Great Dinnod”

  1. John avatar

    Yes the ‘G’ and ‘D’ are Glaisdale and Danby. Originally these moors were common to Glaisdale and Danby townships (as were the moors at the head of Danby and Fryup dales). I think the moors were divided in the 1920’s when these concrete posts were put in. The same style of posts can be found stretching north from the Causeway Stone on the Lyke Wake (they are marked BP on the OS map rather than BS). One of the boundary maps from the 20’s on the ‘Vision of Britain through Time’ site has the boundary crudely drawn in in pencil!

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Chris from the Cleveland Mining History Society has found the following:

      Post Office Telephones Access Cover, Bridge Street, Chepstow 23 June 2018

      Which looks like the culprit. The caption of this photo states the Post Office Telephones operated between 1969 and 1982, after which it was British Telecom. So that gives us a not before date.

  2. John avatar

    See also this map from 1900 illustrating the vagueness of the boundary between Danby and Glaisdale at the time.

  3. Peter Astle avatar
    Peter Astle

    I visited Great Dinod last summer knowing nothing about it. I noticed the intriguing name on the OS map and decided to take a look. I was a little disappointed to discover that the name was more exciting than the location though the skylarks’ busy chatter made up for that. I may have been expecting a gathering of Wizards or similar! Exploring the old railway workings nearby added some interest but I am slightly jealous that I failed to find your mystery object. Maybe this summer?

  4. Fhithich avatar

    The plot thickens. John has come back to me:

    I’ve read your comment but I’m not sure I agree with your ‘dating evidence’. See here for usage of ‘Post Office Telephones’ as a name …………….. Post Office Telephones. I have also attached a document from 1936 (here) which shows an identical cover design on page 5.

    How about this for a ‘semi-wild’ surmise? The Fighter Command Control System relied totally on the public telephone system. Normally public utility connections follow roads but maybe in the interests of security the connection into the radar station followed a more ‘discrete’ route (or maybe just a shorter, more direct one). Certainly you would expect any connection to head north towards civilization rather than south into the moors. If so that cover could have played a part in the downing of the first German aircraft to come down on English soil.


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