Out & About …

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

Cockle Scar

When we look at a landscape photo it is very easy to be overwhelmed by the big picture and to miss the little features.

In centuries past, these features meant something, far more than now, and they had names.

It is these features that reveal interesting aspects of the landscape.

The distinctive change in steepness of the north-western face of Roseberry is clearly visible from the Cleveland Plain. This is a shot along the slope. Newton-under-Roseberry is the village extreme right.

And the edge on left is Cockle Scar, a name which I think most people climbing Roseberry will not be familiar with, anxious to achieve the summit.

Climb the wooden steps then the diagonal path through Newton Wood and when you get to the gate you will have crested Cockle Scar. It’s about at the 200m contour level.

The scar is formed from a seam of rock called the Staithes Sandstone Formation, which is more resistant to erosion than Redcar Mudstone Formation below it.

When the last ice age ice sheets swept along the Cleveland Plain from the north-west, the softer mudstone was more readily eroded leaving the edge.

Staithes sandstone is thinly bedded therefore not used much for building, and so not quarried.

Unlike the ‘cap’ of Roseberry which is a different sandstone, the Saltwick Sandstone Formation.

Cockle Scar is not named on the modern Tourist O.S. Maps. I haven’t come across many modern references.

The 2006 book “Roseberry Topping” is one, issued by the Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project1“Roseberry Topping”. Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project. 2006 ISBN 978-0-9554153-0-2..

Early last century, SirAlfred Pease (1857-1939) mentioned the feature in his memoires2Bart. Alfred Pease, Sir. “Half A Century Of Sport”. 1932. Page 172. Available online at https://ia801609.us.archive.org/11/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.208112/2015.208112.Half-A_text.pdf.

Is there a danger of it being lost?







3 responses to “Cockle Scar”

  1. Bob Howe avatar
    Bob Howe

    The Shute in the Roseberry topping race?

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Yes that chute would go down Cockle Scar. I think I’ve found where the name comes from and it’s nothing to do with seashells!

  2. […] posting of Cockle Scar three days ago reminded of the mysterious pits that align the top of the […]

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