Moorland isosceles triangle

A strange feature to come across in the middle of a grouse moor.

What appear to be two tracks, coming together at an angle of precisely 60°.

The left hand track is about 27 yards long, and meets another track from the right. Again the angle is 60°.

Once more, the left hand track is about 27 yards long, and meets another track from the right. Again the angle is 60°.

Continuing clockwise I return to my starting point.

Three sides, each about 27 metres with internal angles of 60°. A perfect isosceles triangle.

A quick look at Google Earth gives an overview.

Any ideas?

A clue perhaps is revealed by a brick and concrete structure some 100 yards to the north.

The triangle was a practice bombing target and the building was the observation hut, dating from the later half of WW21North York Moors National Park. (2012). HER Map: North York Moors National Park. HER Nos.: 18522 and 18292. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 8 Dec. 2021]..

The target would have been painted yellow and lit up at night with lamps. I assume dummy bombs would have been used, otherwise the observing officers in the bunker seem a bit too close for comfort.

I believe the aircraft came from RAF Wombleton where Royal Canadian Air Force personnel were being converted to fly heavy bombers2‘Airmen’s Club on the Yorkshire Moors’ (1945) Hull Daily Mail, 26 Jul, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EN3223221123/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=d663ea52 [accessed 08 Dec 2021]..

RAF Wombleton opened in October 1943, just north of Nunnington, and was a sub-station of RAF Dalton (Topcliffe). It was the base for 1,200 N.C.O.s, airmen and airwomen, and operated both Halifaxes and Lancasters. The airfield closed in the early 1950s3Ibid.4Otter, Patrick. “Yorkshire Airfields in the Second World War”. Page 78.1998. Countryside Books. ISBN 1 85306 542 0..

  • 1
    North York Moors National Park. (2012). HER Map: North York Moors National Park. HER Nos.: 18522 and 18292. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 8 Dec. 2021].
  • 2
    ‘Airmen’s Club on the Yorkshire Moors’ (1945) Hull Daily Mail, 26 Jul, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/EN3223221123/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=d663ea52 [accessed 08 Dec 2021].
  • 3
    Ibid.
  • 4
    Otter, Patrick. “Yorkshire Airfields in the Second World War”. Page 78.1998. Countryside Books. ISBN 1 85306 542 0.

4 Replies to “Moorland isosceles triangle”

  1. That’s an equilateral triangle Mick, perhaps a special case of an isosceles with the base the same length as the two sides. Some definitions of an isosceles triangle say that it has exactly two sides of the same length, some say at least two sides of the same length.
    P.s. I enjoy your posts very much, every day. 🙂

  2. The area was used as a range in WW2 but the bits and pieces still in existence date from the early 1950s. There are a couple of shelter bases up on Roppa Edge and some structures and a large steel lattice can be found alongside the ‘Magna Via’ holloway just to the east. I have a map of the range and some aerial photos showing the range arrow (up on Roppa Edge) and the triangle, I’ll email them to you. Back in the early 1980s white stars on short posts denoting the range boundary were still in existence to the north though they’ve gone now and there was a small practice bomb kicking about near the shelter.

Leave a Reply to John Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.