Out & About …

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

Category: Basedale

  • Wildlife in Peril: The State of Nature Report/The Felling of the Sycamore

    Wildlife in Peril: The State of Nature Report/The Felling of the Sycamore

    Two pressing matters have graced the headlines this week. First, the State of Nature report has been published, casting a dire shadow upon the condition of the UK’s wildlife. The findings are nothing short of catastrophic — one in six species teeters on the brink of potential extinction. The population of 753 land and freshwater…

  • On the lookout for fairies in Baysdale

    On the lookout for fairies in Baysdale

    An early morning saunter around Baysdale, that remote dale in an expanse of moorland, its lush fields gleaming in the sunlight. In the distance, Ingleby Moor draped in a shroud of clouds, though it would disperse within the hour, leaving with a bright and dry morning. But this tranquil scene is soon to be disrupted,…

  • Woolly Olympics—High Jumps and Clever Ewes

    Woolly Olympics—High Jumps and Clever Ewes

    “The sheep is said to be naturally dull and stupid. Of all quadrupeds it is the most foolish: it will saunter away to lonely places with no object in view; oftentimes in stormy weather it will stray from shelter; if it be overtaken by a snowstorm, it will stand still unless the shepherd sets it…

  • The Cairn, the Schoolboy and the Vulpicide Outrage of 1903

    The Cairn, the Schoolboy and the Vulpicide Outrage of 1903

    A rickety cairn, perched precariously over Baysdale. I was told by a onetime resident of the dale that the cairn was built by Roland Close, an estate worker and archaeologist, who was brought up in Shepherd’s House, which can be seen in the distance. Close would walk this way to school in Kildale. A curious report…

  • St. Helen’s Day, the Rowan tree, and their connection to warding off witches

    St. Helen’s Day, the Rowan tree, and their connection to warding off witches

    Wikipedia says St Helen’s Day  — Helena, mother of Constantine I — is honoured in the Church of England on 21st May but in the Episcopal Church on 22nd May. The Rev. R.C. Atkinson, however, suggests it falls on the 2nd May. So who’s right? Yer pays yer money … It matters if you wish…

  • Coal Mining in Baysdale: success or failure?

    Coal Mining in Baysdale: success or failure?

    The North York Moors might not be the first place you think of when it comes to coal mining, but it was actually a thriving industry at the end of the 18th century. Most of the mining areas were located along the high watershed to the south of the Esk valley, like Rudland Rigg and…

  • The old road to Westerdale

    The old road to Westerdale

    The moors are filled with standing stones that span across different periods in history. You can find prehistoric monoliths, medieval structures, and even contemporary edifices scattered throughout the vast terrain. According to the 1853 6″ O.S. map, there is a boundary stone labelled Stockesley Cross located near the ruins of a supposed smugglers’ hideout called…

  • In Baysdale Beck

    In Baysdale Beck

    Two stoops or gateposts mark a long-lost crossing of Baysdale Beck about 275 metres upstream of the modern-day ford at Hob Hole. The width between the post suggests a passage on foot and for pack horses only. “Ploughman“, writing in 1908, observed that “the supports of an ancient bridge is still preserved, by the interweaving…

  • Some days photographic opportunities are few and far between

    Some days photographic opportunities are few and far between

    Today was such a day. Rain, drizzle, a brief interlude of bright sunshine, then more drizzle, followed by a touch of rain. I was on the bridleway mapped as Skinner Howe Cross Path crossing Great Hograh Moor when the sun made one of its brief appearances. This is looking north-west across Baysdale, look closely and…

  • The Wicked Squire of Basedale

    The Wicked Squire of Basedale

    A photo of Baysdale to accompany this story I came across by Richard Blakeborough in the Northern Weekly Gazette from 1912 It’s a cracking story, which I fear would be diminshed if I attempted to trim it down. I am therefore repeating it in full which makes this my longest post ever (which I’ve split…