Out & About …

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

Lord Feversham’s Legacy: A peep into the history of Bilsdale

The main north-south route in the western half of the North York Moors winds through the beautiful Bilsdale valley. From the northern point of Clay Bank to the southern point of Newgate Bank, the dale is dotted with farms that boast vast fields of pasture, all bounded by sturdy dry-stone walls. The farms are enclosed by lofty hills that are cloaked with both native and conifer woodland, and the entire region is topped off with an expanse of open heather moorland.

Once upon a time, the charming Bilsdale valley was owned by a single individual, the Earl of Feversham. However, in 1941, the entire valley, spanning an impressive 12,000 acres, and including 130 farms, four townships, and two picturesque villages of Fangdale Beck and Chop Gate, was sold to the National Employers’ Mutual Insurance Association. It was made clear at the time of the sale that the estate was to be maintained in its entirety and managed in keeping with the tradition established by the previous owner. Lord Feversham had reassured his tenants that there were no plans to dismantle the estate, and that the sale was due to the increased taxation that he was facing1Our Estate Market Correspondent (1941) ‘Yorkshire Vale Sold’, Times, 25 Apr, 1941, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/CS68368537/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=80460a95 [accessed 17 Jul 2021]..






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