This morning, I was lucky enough to get dropped off in Guisborough, and decided to walk back home, a one-way trip; avoiding, of course, the more popular paths since it’s a Sunday.
Ayton Bank is off the beaten track that offers a quiet location. In the distance is Easby Moor, topped with Capt. Cook’s Monument. The broken ground in the foreground is actually an old quarry. I disturbed a hare, and then another.
Interestingly, there used to be around twelve such quarries that extracted freestone between Easby Moor and Roseberry Topping.
Many of these ancient quarries most likely originated from utilising the ‘tumblers‘, which were essentially large rocks that had rolled down from the hillside, and were of high quality. These stones could weigh up to 300 tons.
To extract the largest pieces of stone, the tumbler was cut repeatedly while being flipped over with crowbars. The mason used all the available material, taking into account its colour and quality, and compared it to using a piece of cloth to make a dress. The monument honouring the second Baron Feversham in Helmsley market-place features a cover stone that measures around 7 feet in length and width and weighs roughly 7 tons. This enormous stone was extracted from a tumbler located near Spout House in Bilsdale. The process of squaring and quarrying the stone was exceptionally difficult and moved with just one bar and a cart shaft1Hartley, Marie and Joan Ingilby. “Life and Tradition on The Moorlands of North-East Yorkshire”. Pages 96-102. J.M. Dent & Son. 1990. ISBN 1 870071 54 9..
- 1Hartley, Marie and Joan Ingilby. “Life and Tradition on The Moorlands of North-East Yorkshire”. Pages 96-102. J.M. Dent & Son. 1990. ISBN 1 870071 54 9.