Out & About …

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

“The Three Sisters”

“The Three Sisters,” Ingleby-Greenhow

by George Markham Tweddell

Three tiny streamlets, on the barren moor,
Were glittering ’neath the bright rays of the sun:
Pleasant it was to mark, where’er they run
Along the summit of the mountain hoar,
How beautiful rich mosses mark’d their way!
These steams united, and went trickling on
To add their waters to the neighb’ring burn,
Which help’d to feed a river, where you may
Float largest argosies; then to the sea,—
Again to float in mists unto the sky,
And fall in dew or rain,—mayhap to fly
In hail or snowflakes over hill or lea!
Nothing in nature e’er is lost!—shall we
Then doubt, in God’s good time, all will from pain be free?

George Markham Tweddell was known as the Cleveland Bard and was a prolific writer of poetry. At the age of 19, Tweddell established the ‘Stokesley News and Cleveland Reporter‘, a monthly newspaper, in November 1842, using the printing press licence of his apprentice master, William Braithwaite, who was a Stokesley printer and publisher. However, Braithwaite withdrew his approval in December 1842 after receiving complaints from local Conservatives about the newspaper’s political bias. George independently published the third edition in January 1843, which he probably funded with help from his uncle, John Taylor, a draper from Stokesley. Later that month, he obtained a license in his own name.1‘Tweddell Poetry.co.uk ’. 2023. Tweddellpoetry.co.uk <http://www.tweddellpoetry.co.uk/> [accessed 3 May 2023]

“The Three Sisters” refers to three springs above Turkey Nab draining into Otter Hills Beck, which flows into the River Leven at Easby. They are named on the early O.S. map. The photo is taken above one of the springs, which has been capped off with a metal cover. In the distance is Coate Moor and Capt. Cook’s Monument.

In 1931, Stokesley Rural Council used these springs to build a water supply for the villages of Broughton, Kirby, Great and Little Busby, Carlton, Potto and Hutton Rudby, at a cost of £18,7002‘‌Spring Water Supply for Seven Villages | Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer | Saturday 10 January 1931 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2023. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000687/19310110/225/0006> [accessed 4 February 2023]. The scheme was evidently a success as, in the drought of 1934, when milk production from dairy cows suffered and farmers had to cart water from nearby streams, Stokesley Council reported “that [their supply] was adequate, and no anxiety was entertained for the rest of the summer.3‘‌LOT OF RAIN WANTED | Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough | Friday 13 July 1934 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2023. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000159/19340713/242/0009> [accessed 4 February 2023]







4 responses to ““The Three Sisters””

  1. Bob Howe avatar
    Bob Howe

    Before the building of Toft Hill reservoir our water supply in Kirkby came from a reservoir near Ingleby
    I recall that the water was not always sparkling clear, but the taste was lovely

  2. John avatar

    That spring feeds a break tank at the back of Turkey Nab and then a reservoir down in the forest. That reservoir feeds the ‘Manor Water Supply System’ which supplies Ingleby Greenhow and properties further afield, part of the system Bob describes. The system is the responsibility of the Snilesworth Estate.
    In 1931 Stokesley RDC had a 99 year lease paying £52 per year and 2d per 1000 gallons taken over 15,330,000 gallons!!

  3. Graeme Chappell avatar
    Graeme Chappell

    In my well wandering days i also went to look for the 3 Sisters Springs. As you say two have been capped, but the northern most one still runs from a wet area on the moor. There was a little stone which seemed to mark the spot. I did wonder if there was some story to account for the name?

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Had the same thoughts myself. Also found the marshy one but the least photogenic.

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