North York Moors CAM


Thursday 8th February 2001

Weather: Pretty cold, especially on the moor top - some snow flurries

Today's walk: Glaisdale circular

( 9 miles )


Today's walk starts from 'The Green' in the moorland villlage of Glaisdale (Grid Ref: 774 058)

Glaisdale village is built on a succession of steep hillsides - the peace and quiet of today contrasts greatly
with that of a very different picture painted during the ironstone mining boom of the 1800's
- there are still a few remaining signs of Glaisdale's role in this particular local industrial revolution

Another 'claim to fame' that Glaisdale boasts is that the stone used to build
Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames in London was quarried nearby

Walking in a south-westerly direction, we follow the track through a gate onto Glaisdale Moor (above)


We soon pass this pond which was associated with the local stone quarries


From close by to the track, we look south-west towards the head of Glaisdale


A short distance further on, just to the right of the track, we come to this memorial stone which reads:


If it was her own doing, she certainly chose a beautiful spot to be remembered


From besides one of the many standing stones to be found on these moors,
our track is easy to follow as it rises gently uphill towards the horizon

Although the breeze was cool today, there can't have been many better places to be in North Yorkshire


Where the track reaches a fork, we go right and follow it up until . . .


. . . it brings us out near this road junction where close by is a prominent 'standing stone' on Black Hill

This is one of many on the list of 'crosses' which I aim to photograph on the North York Moors although it must be
made clear that many of them are either waymarkers for 'lost travellers' or simply boundary stones


. . .

After turning left and walking about another of a mile along the road
we saw this prominent cairn about 100 yards to our left in the middle of the heather moor

There were no distinct paths leading towards it but it is beautifully constructed and to me it's presence is a mystery
It's about 8-9 feet high - no, Jim's not trying to push it over, he's just there to help indicate the scale

Maybe someone can help explain it's significance . . .


After continuing a little further along the road we turn left along the public bridleway that leads down to Hart Leap Farm

Here we look north-east across the sheep-grazing pastures of Glaisdale


After walking steeply downhill through wet and muddy fields we re-join the surfaced road
and then turn right at a junction soon reaching the old farm buildings of Yew Grange


After another of a mile of walking further along the road (we never saw a single vehicle)
we pass the beautifully situated 'holiday cottages' at Nab End Farm


. . .

The next farm buildings are at High Gill Beck where we leave the road and, after crossing over a 'wall stile',
we climb steeply, first up a field and through gorse, then up a narrow and wet gully (above left)
through forest until we emerge onto the open moor at the top of the track (above right)


After getting our breath back we find the next 1 miles flatter and easier going, although boggy in places,
as we follow the stone wall on our left along the contours of the hill top

Here we look north across Glaisdale


Last time I walked this particular route (about 3 years ago) the hillside was pleasantly covered in forest
Today, that is no longer the scene - it more resembles the aftermath of a catastrophe
- the lumberjacks have long been and gone


At least the views across towards the village of Glaisdale are as lovely as ever


. . .

The track eventually brings us to the edge of the next plantation and then onto the Rosedale to Egton road . . .


. . . which we follow downhill, observing a storm brewing down in Eskdale which, fortunately, passed us by


The next buildings we pass are those of Delves Farm before descending steeply . . .


. . .

. . . and leaving the road on our left into Arnecliff Woods

We follow an excellent example of an ancient stone trod before reaching the banks of the swollen River Esk


On emerging from the woods, we arrive at Beggars Bridge

The story behind this famous (in these parts) old stone bridge is that of Tom Ferries, the son of a poor sheep farmer,
who met and fell in love with Agnes Richardson, the daughter of a wealthy, local landowner.
Agnes' father refused to allow a wedding until Tom became 'a rich man' so subsequently Tom went to sea in 1586
and took part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada before sailing to the West Indies with Sir Francis Drake

Tom eventually became rich and returned to marry Agnes, but after her death he remembered the difficulties
he once had in his youth crossing the swollen River Esk to meet his sweetheart
- he therefore commissioned Beggars Bridge to be built as a memorial

From Beggars Bridge, return to the village of Glaisdale, climbing steeply up to the main street
and back to the starting point of the walk



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