Out & About …

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

A 19th-century description of Highcliff Nab

Overhanging the romantic and picturesque vale of Gisborough, a bold prominent rock rears its reverend head, hoary with mosses and lichens, and rent into vast chasms by the storms and tempests of centuries. It is skirted to the north with rich plantations of fir and venerable forests of oak; towards the south it is surrounded by vast tracts of heathy moorlands; whilst westward lie the lovely vale of Kildale and the fertile plains of Broughton, Stokesley, &c. Hither, in our joyous schoolboy days, we were wont to repair, and, with the adventurous daring of youth, climb amidst its craggy precipices for the nests of the hawk, the raven, and the daw1Jackdaw.. Glad and happy were those hours; for then the free mountain-breezes floated along our locks, and our hearts were light and buoyant as the springy heath on which we trod. Marvellous and delightful, too, were the snow-white ships that gleamed afar off on the azure deeps; pleasant the repose of those rich umbrageous woods, through which, at evening, we wended homewards, listening to the tender croon of the cushat2Wood-pigeon. beside his mate; and most exquisite the quire of myriads of birds singing their “amorous  descants” all through the golden furze3gorse and sheltering groves. This towering summit was HIGHCLIFFE. Little dreamt we then that on this very spot once naked Britons had dashed their war-steeds and careered their swift chariots; that the children of an aboriginal race had here wandered like ourselves, rousing with strange cries the eagle and the hawk from their eyrie, or running by their hunter-sires to chase the elk, the wild boar, and the deer!

John Walker Ord, “The History and Antiquities of Cleveland”. 18464Ord, John Walker. “The History and Antiquities of Cleveland: Comprising the Wapentake of East and West Langbargh, North Riding, County York.” Page 122. 1846. Available online at https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qPsnAAAAYAAJ&dq=ord&pg=PA122#v=onepage&q=highcliffe&f=false







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