Stone Ruck

A rather dull morning but I somehow managed to miss the downpour.

The high moors have somewhat woolly boundaries. Sometimes they follow the meandering of streams and other natural features, elsewhere they may be a straight line between landmarks drawn in an office or mapped as “Undefined”.

The parish boundary between Whorlton and Bilsdale West is an example of the latter, a series of straight lines between boundary stones, although I wonder, like the chicken and the egg, what came first, the stones or the boundary?1Maps.nls.uk. (2021). View map: Yorkshire 42 (includes: Bilsdale Midcable; Carlton; Faceby; Little Busby; Whorlt… – Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952. [online] Available at: https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344290#zoom=7&lat=3318&lon=10284&layers=BT [Accessed 2 Oct. 2021].

At a jumble of sandstone boulders called Stone Ruck, the parish boundary veers sharply, not at the obvious high point, a Bronze Age round cairn, but at a pair of closely abutting boulders, which are not necessarily the most significant2North York Moors National Park HER Map. (2012). HER Nos: 2082, 5652, and 9369. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 2 Oct. 2021].. A large letter ‘F’ is deeply carved into the surface of one boulder, and an ‘A’ in the other.

Assuming the old parish boundary was coterminously aligned with land ownership, the ‘F’ is likely to refer to the Feversham estate3Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Baron Feversham. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Feversham [Accessed 2 Oct. 2021]., and ‘A’ to that of the Marquess of Ailesbury, Lord of the Manor of Whorlton4Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Marquess of Ailesbury. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess_of_Ailesbury [Accessed 2 Oct. 2021]..

Stone Ruck is not an uncommon name on the North York Moors. ‘Ruck’ is a Yorkshire word for a heap or pile, as of stones, turf or hay5York.ac.uk. (2021). ruck – Yorkshire Historical Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://yorkshiredictionary.york.ac.uk/words/ruck [Accessed 2 Oct. 2021].. So Stone Ruck is just a pile of stones.

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