Out & About …

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

Tag: medieval

  • St Abb’s Head

    St Abb’s Head

    This is St Abb’s Head, a rugged headland in the Scottish Borders, renowned for its bustling seabird sanctuary, boasting a population of over 60,000 winged residents. Among its craggy stacks, guillemots and razorbills establish their nests, while the majestic kittiwakes favour the towering cliff faces. Yet, amidst this natural spectacle, I later discovered a historical…

  • Tripsdale Head — from Monastic Grange to 17th Century Shieling

    Tripsdale Head — from Monastic Grange to 17th Century Shieling

    This morning I had the chance to visit Tripsdale Head in the North York Moors, an area I’ve often admired from afar at Low Cable Stones — visible in the photograph on the skyline. It looked an inviting spot oozing with history amidst its lush pastures. Tripsdale rises on a gentle slope on the moorland…

  • An Ancient Route into Bransdale

    An Ancient Route into Bransdale

    In days of yore, should you find yourself journeying from Stokesley to Bransdale on foot, or perchance on horseback, this very track would have been your chosen descent into the dale. It held sway as a vital route for many a year. This ancient road, depicted on a 1782 estate map under the title ‘from…

  • Bransdale Westside — a potted history

    Bransdale Westside — a potted history

    A clearing in the appropriately named High Plantation, elevated above the hamlet of Cockayne, affords a magnificent view of the western side of Bransdale. Bransdale is drained by the Hodge Beck, which, in medieval times, formed a significant boundary. To the west lay lands granted to Rievaulx Abbey, while to the east, they belonged to…

  • Highcliff Gate — From Glacial Spillway to Forgotten Farm Track

    Highcliff Gate — From Glacial Spillway to Forgotten Farm Track

    The recent felling of Guisborough Forest has completely changed the landscape, evident even on this dreary spring day. Down in the valleys, vernal signs are everywhere: hawthorn buds are emerging, and the woods are alive with birdsong, and some birds are even gathering nest stuff. But up here on Potter’s Ridge, winter’s still holding its…

  • Cold Moor Lane — Hollow Way and Medieval Trod

    Cold Moor Lane — Hollow Way and Medieval Trod

    Taking a respite from the biting easterly breeze while in the shelter of Cold Moor Lane, a sunken bridleway climbing out of Chop Gate, a debate unfolded about its origins. Well, if we concede that its sunken characteristic stems from centuries of human and animal movement along this route, then I suppose one could argue…

  • Little Raisdale — A modest dale with a forgotten settlement and chapel

    Little Raisdale — A modest dale with a forgotten settlement and chapel

    In the upper reaches of Raisdale, an eastern prong stretches out to the edge of the Cleveland Hills between Cold Moor and Cringle Moor. Right of centre in the photo stands Hall Garth Farm, a name which suggests a once grand manor-house, standing proudly on the land. To its left, there used to be a…

  • St. Cuthbert’s Cave

    St. Cuthbert’s Cave

    A pit stop to stretch our legs during the lengthy journey up to Edinburgh. St. Cuthbert’s Cave, a property owned by the National Trust in the Kyloe Hills, earned its name thanks to a group of monks back in 875. Fearing the looming arrival of the Great Heathen Army, they fled from Lindisfarne Abbey with…

  • From Scugdale to America

    From Scugdale to America

    Trudging wearily along the rugged landrover track across Whorlton Moor, passing by patches of scorched heather, you could smell the aftermath of yesterday’s burns. At long last, I reached the northern side of the moor. Below me sprawled the peaceful Scugdale valley, and up there, at the head of the dale, lay that broad col…

  • St. Hilda’s Chapel Archaeological Dig

    St. Hilda’s Chapel Archaeological Dig

    My Wednesdays are spent at an archaeological dig at the medieval chapel site in Kildale and on my penultimate day for this season, a reflection of the progress so far. We’ve unearthed a further trove of pottery, yet raised more questions than answers. This season started with six tidy two-metre square test trenches, but they…