Out & About …

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


The village of Glaisdale perches high on a hill, where Glaisdale Beck meets the River Esk in a dramatic confluence. Its terrain is spectacularly steep, with descents plunging more than 500 feet within a mere half-mile stretch.

At its heart lies the church, commanding a view towards Glaisdale Head. Settlement in this dale adheres to a meticulous pattern, comprising quaint hamlets and sturdy farmsteads built from sandstone, their pantile roofs nestled along the valley’s edge beside the minor road.

Though records of Glaisdale’s history can be traced back to the 1200s, much of its present form owes to the bustling industries of the 19th century, particularly the extraction industries and the ironwork1NYM NP HER No: 4547.

A curious institution tied to the village’s history is the ‘Glaisdale and Lealholm Association for the Prosecution of Felons.‘ In the days before a national police force, such associations were commonplace, akin to the vigilant eyes of today’s neighbourhood watch2Darley, Karen. 2021. ‘Are There Any Felon Club’s Still Going?’, Gazette & Herald (Gazette & Herald) <https://www.gazetteherald.co.uk/news/19080496.felon-clubs-still-going/> [accessed 12 April 2024].

This particular association, formed to assist the parish constable in curbing local misdeeds and maintaining order, relied on rewards for recovered livestock and the mutual subscription of its members.

Yet, as the tides of law shifted with time, felonies yielded to arrestable offenses under the Theft Act 1978, rendering such associations obsolete. Still, in a testament to tradition, the ‘Glaisdale and Lealholm Association for the Prosecution of Felons’ survives, hosting its annual dinner dance and overseeing a funeral club, keeping the spirit of community and justice alive.







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