Today is not Boxing Day

Today might be the day after Christmas Day, the second day of Christmas, but it is a Sunday, Christmas Sunday, and so is not Boxing Day. That is tomorrow.

So sayest the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines Boxing Day as “the first weekday after Christmas day, observed as a holiday on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas box1According to Wikipedia. Boxing Day. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day#Etymology [Accessed 26 Dec. 2021]..

The Post Office are not in my good books at the moment, having failed to deliver our annual print of Christmas photographs. Still, they’ll do for next Christmas when/if they arrive.

A pretty dreich morning so I thought I would have a wander through Wren’s Quarry on Greenhow Bank. I once had a close encounter with a kestrel here, which I disturbed it as I climbed up through the crags. Now I don’t know which of us was more shocked but that memory of its beautiful colours will always remain with me.

No such luck today. I did notice on the way up that the moor wall ends abruptly at the quarry, and continues the other side of the gaping hole. Meaning the wall must predate the quarry. This is confirmed by the 1853 O.S. map.

The quarry was operated by the Ingleby Stone Quarry Company, a company probably under the direction of a Mr. Wren. The stone was lowered down to the Rosedale Railway by an incline known as Wren’s Incline2The Gazette. (1883). Page 6651 | Issue 25299, 25 December 1883 | London … [online] Available at: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/25299/page/6651/data.htm [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021]..

In 1866, it was reported that a Mr Wren (the same?) had opened an ironstone mine in the area which was “soon afterwards abandoned3‘The Cleveland Ironstone’ (1866) Yorkshire Gazette, 25 Aug, 4, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/JF3231098185/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=baf2da3d [accessed 26 Dec 2021].. This must be referring to the Ingleby Manor ironstone mine at Rudd Scar which briefly operated between 1856 and 18604Tuffs, Peter. “Catalogue of Cleveland Ironstone Mines”. Page 17. Cleveland Ironstone Series 1996.. The mine had been developed with high hopes, having expectations of an annual yield of 150,000 tons5‘News’ (1857) Newcastle Journal, 12 Dec, 8, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/GR3216193104/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=711c2fad [accessed 26 Dec 2021]..

The climb up to the Cleveland Way was quite a tough one. With zero visibility, a brisk wind and a layer of wet, slushy snow, it wasn’t a day for hanging around. I retreated back into the plantation.

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