Out & About …

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

Category: Great Ayton

  • Easby Moor from Roseberry Topping

    Easby Moor from Roseberry Topping

    The names Easby and Roseberry both derive from Old Scandinavian, but what did the Deiri tribe, nestled snugly between the Humber and the Tees rivers, call these places? Picture Deira as the precursor to Yorkshire, holding court in York. But Deira wasn’t a territorial area. It seems more like a robust dynasty. The exact genesis…

  • The uncertain future of Ayton’s Weeping Ash

    The uncertain future of Ayton’s Weeping Ash

    In the annals of Scandinavian mythology, the ash went by the name ‘Yggdrasil,’ the tree of life, ‘the greatest and best of all trees. Its branches spread all over the world.’ Now, I’m no tree whisperer, and botany isn’t exactly my strong suit. I’m hazarding a guess, but this seems to be the ‘Fraxinus excelsior,’…

  • Celebrating Capt. James Cook

    Celebrating Capt. James Cook

    “Well there goes another February 14th. Evenings of whimsical sighs, chinking champagne glasses, and adoring compliments across the Pacific as indigenous folks send their thanks out to the Hawaiian cousins that took care of business, and finally put an end to the diseased, kidnapping, murderous, thieving invader called Captain James Cook.” So wrote Tina Ngata…

  • Roseberry Topped Reflection

    Roseberry Topped Reflection

    I recently read an article about the ecology of puddles, revealing their significance as habitats for certain invertebrate species. These small, transient pools offer a refuge from larger predators and competitors due to their isolated and short-lived nature. Many of these puddles hold high conservation value, housing rare specialist creatures. Noteworthy examples include the fairy shrimps…

  • Silent Symphony of Sheep

    Silent Symphony of Sheep

    Head down against the driving rain, I sensed unseen eyes upon me. The fleeces of these Aireyholme sheep appeared as fresh as a perm, even after, or more likely because of, the overnight deluge. Despite dwindling numbers, sheep remain the predominant livestock on North York Moors farms. In 2016, the National Park boasted a staggering…

  • Roseberry Ironstone Mine — A Miner’s Day Begins

    Roseberry Ironstone Mine — A Miner’s Day Begins

    A significant anniversary in the history of Roseberry Ironstone Mine. It was on this day in 1921 that the men at the mine received notice to cease work with the mine due to be made idle at the end of the period of notice. In fact, output fell gradually until, in 1924, it stopped completely…

  • The Friends’ School’s Plan for Invasion in 1914

    The Friends’ School’s Plan for Invasion in 1914

    Dominating Great Ayton’s soggy High Green, this soggy Monday morning is the stern façade of the erstwhile Friends’ School, now converted into residential dwellings. The village well, no longer in its original spot, was moved to make room for extra car-parking. I recently read an account detailing the school’s arrangements in case of a prospective…

  • The Great Ayton Scallywags

    The Great Ayton Scallywags

    A certain topic that has occupied my thoughts for some time is an Auxiliary Unit Patrol that was stationed in Great Ayton during World War II. This covert unit differed significantly from the stereotypical ‘Dad’s Army.’ I recall hearing at some point that, in the event of a German invasion, the anticipated life expectancy for…

  • Ayton Banks Ironstone Mine — its legacy

    Ayton Banks Ironstone Mine — its legacy

    Playing with my new tripod, a Christmas goodie. I do like the motion blur effect of long exposures. The water is draining from the Ayton Banks ironstone mine, the stone of which turned out to be poor-quality, leading to the mine’s brief existence. It had opened in the first decade of the 20th-century but closed…

  • Smoke Signals from Great Ayton: A Meteorological Puzzle

    Smoke Signals from Great Ayton: A Meteorological Puzzle

    I took this photograph of the large square-cut recess in the sandstone cap atop Roseberry summit. Clearly crafted by human hands, in my imagination, I’ve had it down as the likely spot for the hermitage and smith’s forge mentioned in a 17th-century letter. However, I might be wildly off the mark, considering the extensive quarrying…