Out & About …

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

Category: Bransdale

  • The Pulse of Life in Bransdale

    The Pulse of Life in Bransdale

    The North York Moors dales, after enduring months of rain and unseasonably cold temperatures, have erupted into a lush and vibrant green. The pastures, the crinkled oak leaves, and the dark crowns of the conifers in Barker Plantation all pulse with life. This intense greenness assails my senses: I hear it in the blackbird’s song,…

  • 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…

  • The Smiddy, Bransdale Mill

    The Smiddy, Bransdale Mill

    Doing some work at Bransdale Mill, specifically in the old smithy, known as ‘smiddy’ in the local Cleveland dialect, which is being repurposed into a wood store. This structure, formerly a dilapidated two-room, single-story building, had its fortunes revived in the recent past by the National Trust, which rendered it weatherproof with a fresh blue…

  • 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…

  • A winter’s view from Yoad House

    A winter’s view from Yoad House

    The view from the garden of Yoad House in Bransdale, where the emergence of snowdrops signals the impending arrival of spring. The tranquillity of the snow-clad fields extending down to the beck is lost in the mist veiling the opposite bank, and by the stark silhouettes of skeletal trees and precarious dry-stone walls, lend a…

  • Bransdale: a cacophony of gunshots — too close for comfort

    Bransdale: a cacophony of gunshots — too close for comfort

    A day spent volunteering with the National Trust in Bransdale, even though the landscape was somewhat elusive. During our journey over, we left a clear yet overcast Esk valley, climbing into a thick layer of cloud at Rosedale Head. This blanket of fog lingered persistently, keeping us smothered throughout the day. But, in a fleeting…

  • Brock or Huckster? What’s behind the name of the Badger Stone?

    Brock or Huckster? What’s behind the name of the Badger Stone?

    I succeeded in reaching the Badger Stone before the snow came. By the time I returned to the car, I had transformed into a snowman. The Badger Stone, an oddity in itself, is a sturdy sandstone outcrop standing alone and distant on the periphery of a plateau within a desolate moorland, rising to a height…

  • A Return to Bransdale: Battling the Tenacious Pine and Larch Saplings

    A Return to Bransdale: Battling the Tenacious Pine and Larch Saplings

    After a hiatus of a few weeks, I find myself once again in Bransdale, volunteering my time to the National Trust. The task at hand is none other than the removal or trimming of young larch and pine saplings that have sprouted up on their own in Bloworth Wood, which was clear-cut a couple of…

  • 18th-Century stables and cartshed at Bransdale Mill

    18th-Century stables and cartshed at Bransdale Mill

    If you’ve ever been to Bransdale Mill, you will have seen the old barn propped up for years by scaffolding to prevent collapse. This has been necessary since the Public Footpath passes directly below the north end gable. Now the barn is stable at last, its scaffolding gone. And a fine sight it is. One…