Out & About …

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

Category: North York Moors

  • Why is today, 29th February, Leap Day?

    Why is today, 29th February, Leap Day?

    For the first time in God knows how long, today proved unsuccessful in venturing into the hills. So, I am resorted to share one from the archives. On the last Leap Day, the 29th of February, 2020, the skies painted a blue canvas above Roseberry. Oh, those naΓ―ve days, as Covid was on the verge…

  • Priest’s Spa Quarry and its elusive spring

    Priest’s Spa Quarry and its elusive spring

    On Hither Moor, this 19th century sandstone quarry overlooks the road winding up the Cod Beck dale between Osmotherley and Scarth Nick. Nowadays, the dale is best known for its reservoir that draws quite the crowd. The quarry, mapped as “Priests’ Spa” by the early Ordnance Survey, owes its name to a spring allegedly blessed…

  • Elfi The Dwarf β€” The Story Told at Ye Sign of the Fox & Hounds, Urra

    Elfi The Dwarf β€” The Story Told at Ye Sign of the Fox & Hounds, Urra

    The notion of transcribing these ancient folk tales of Richard Blakeborough, thought to be a splendid idea at first, an idea born during the Covid lockdown, now gnaws at my conscience with growing unease. Recent reports detailing the modification of Roald Dahl’s cherished works, altering words deemed offensive and rewriting character descriptions in an attempt…

  • Hutton Moor β€” Biodiversity vs. Profit

    Hutton Moor β€” Biodiversity vs. Profit

    This is Hutton Moor at the northern end of the Percy Cross Rigg track. I see that the self-seeded birch and spruce that have sprouted on the heather moorland have been unceremoniously cut down. The rationale is clear; if left unchecked, the moorland will eventually transform into a birch woodland. However, this does come at…

  • No wheeple from this whaup

    No wheeple from this whaup

    No plaintive cry echoed through the air. It was the silhouette that gave it away: that lengthy and slender bill that bent downward. I casually approached at an oblique angle, yearning for a better shot. Amidst the heather, its speckled brown feathers made spotting it quite a challenge. Alas, my audacious closeness prompted it to…

  • The Enduring Enigma of the Sledge Shoe House Reservoir

    The Enduring Enigma of the Sledge Shoe House Reservoir

    Situated between Blakey Junction and the west calcining kilns, just before the Rosedale Abbey to Hutton-le-Hole road at Bank Top, there lies a small reservoir near the former farmstead of Sledge Shoe House, sustained by moorland springs. Yet, it has been brought to my attention that this presents a puzzle. It is acknowledged that the…

  • From a Scenic View to Deadly Plots: The Cato Street Conspiracy

    From a Scenic View to Deadly Plots: The Cato Street Conspiracy

    On the parish boundary between Easby and Kildale, looking through the self-seeded birch wood toward Ward Nab, a sandstone outcrop the origin of which name escapes my grasp. Therefore, I must lean on hodiurnal past happenings for the rest of this post. In the tumultuous throes of economic strife and political unrest in the early…

  • 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…

  • Morning Sun on Cold Moor

    Morning Sun on Cold Moor

    A panorama of Cold Moor from the vantage point of the Wainstones; to the right, the col known as Garfit Gap. What caught my eye in this view is the way the morning sun, hanging low, highlights the remains of the old jet mining drifts. These drift entrances, now long collapsed, appear as V-shaped scars…

  • Stang Stoops and Slip Gates

    Stang Stoops and Slip Gates

    Returning to Yoad House in Bransdale, the weather was a tad kinder this week, not as harsh as the last. The forecasted rain? Nowhere to be found. And, surprise, in the afternoon the sun decided to make an appearance. That stone post in the photo? It’s part of what is called a ‘stang stoop’ or…