Siss Cross

High Thorn under Will’s Hut passing Harlow Bush to the tank road. South passing Robin Hood’s Butts to Sandy Slack Head, west at Elm Ledge crossing Black Beck Swang peat pits to Siss Cross Road.

trees

Swang

butt

..the last earth fort

podzol

Podzol

sheep

Born waiting to die

Viewshed sunwise – Gerrick Moor – Elm Ledge – Beacon Hill – Glaisdale Rigg – Great Fryup Dale – Heads –  Danby High Moor – Danby Rigg – Ainthorpe Rigg – Danby Dale – Castleton Rigg – Westerdale Moor – Kempswithen – Kildale Moor – Haw Rigg – High Moor – Siss Cross Hill

A Danby Perambulation

perambulation

I recently found this on my hard drive. I’m not sure of the source.

Perambulation of the Boundaries of the Forest, Dale and Lordship of Danby, August 1792

BEGINNING from the Water of Eske, up Commondale-Beck to Thunder-Bush Beck or Lane; from thence to Bank-Top, through two Inclosures where one William Carter formerly lived, and now or late occupied by John Rickaby; from thence to Tod-How, near Leaden-Well; from thence to White-Cross; from thence along by Sandwath by the Middle of the Common King’s Highway, leading from Stokesley to Whitby; to a Place called Harlot-Busk, otherwise Harlow-Bush, otherwise Harlot-Thorn, otherwise Harlow-Thorn, otherwise High- Thorn; from thence to Water-Dittings; from thence to Beckwith-Stone; from thence to Little-Dinnond; from thence to Great-Dinnond; from thence to the Stone on Frankland-Dyke; from thence to Long-Stone; from thence to Good Goose-Thorne; from thence to Nan-Stone; from thence to the Head of Hardill-Beck, and so into the same Head, going down the said River, toward the South, unto the Lane of Woodall, and further by the same River there, called Woodall-Beck, and by a Ford called Stonegate-Ford, into a Place where the said River falleth into the Water of Eske, going down the said Water unto Glaizedale-Beck, to a Place there called Firris-Bridge, or New-Bridge, (at the low end of Glaizedale;) from thence going up Glaizedale-Beck, towards the South, up to the Upper Head thereof; from thence to the Yoak; from thence to Lamb-Folds; from thence to Holed-Stone; from thence to, Shunner-How; from thence by a Rook of Stones to Loose-How; from thence to White-Cross; from thence to Ralph-Cross; from thence descending the Top or Edge of the Hill, between Danby and Westerdale, by Gallow-How and Crown-End, even as the Rain-Water falleth both Ways, even to the Water of Eske, and so down to the Place where Commondale-Beck meets with the same, where it first began.

Botton Cross

botton-cross

Botton Cross overlooks the head of Danby Dale presumably on an old trackway from Eskdale to Rosedale. In his 1993 booklet, The Crosses of the North York Moors, Lewis Graham  remarks that it may be of interest to lay hunters that Botton, Fat Betty and Old Ralph are in a perfect east-west line though Young Ralph is to the north. 

botton-head-s

The original word in Icelandic botn, and it is applied to the head of a bay, lake, dale or the like, the compound word dals-botn being a word of actual occurrence. Moreover, Vigfussen remarks that “Botn” is a local name still in Iceland.

JC Atkinson. Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. 1891

 

Easington Moor – Middle Rigg

Danby Beacon

Easington Moor (Danby Low Moor) can be a pretty damp place at the best of times, after recent rains the moor is well sodden. Crossing the moor is difficult, large tracts of sedge, cottongrass and sphagnum are best avoided. Away from the keepers tracks, walking a straight line between any two points on the moor without stepping into a bog is almost impossible

This area of the moor is rich in prehistoric monuments, I wanted to see if I could find a triangular stone setting described by Frank Elgee in his 1930 book, Early Man in NE Yorkshire.

Elgee’s description.. It lies immediately east of the large barrow..The stones form a right-angled triangle, one side of which is about 30 yards long, the other two about 24 yards. The stones are 5-7 feet long with broad bases.  

I was only able to locate one of Elgee’s stones, the photo above shows the stone with the barrow in the background. The barrow is unusual as it has been constructed on a low platform.

A series of embanked, segmented pits are roughly aligned on the barrow. The description below is taken from English Heritage’s Record of Scheduled Monument

The pit alignment on Middle Rigg runs approximately parallel to the line of three barrows, about 120m to the north east. It is in two main sections, slightly offset from each other, with the 23m gap between the two sections lying opposite the central barrow. Each section of the pit alignment is further subdivided into segments, with each segment typically having between two and four pairs of pits flanked to the NNE and SSW by a pair of banks. Each segment is divided from the next by a slight change in direction, or a small break in the flanking banks. The two lines of paired pits are typically centred 10m apart and are up to 3m in diameter with the banks 12m to 18m apart and up to 1m high. The western section of the pit alignment is 138m long and includes 34 pits arranged in four shorter segments. The eastern section is 115m long and has 30 pits divided between five segments. The pits are associated with three large barrows on the same NNE-SSW alignment.

Archaeologist Blaise Vyner describes the pit alignment as sealing a spur of land occupied by the Three Howes and therefore one of  a group of monuments found on the the Moors called Cross Ridge Boundary Monuments.

Just north of the pits and barrows is a large standing stone known as the Long Stone. The stone about 2 meters tall. I’ve never been sure whether this stone is prehistoric or not. It’s sides have been squared and it has a semi-circular carved area on its south face. The sheer size of the stone and the un-squared deeply weathered top indicate that it is quite ancient and not a typical estate boundary stone, as to its origins, who knows?

Sources

The brides of place: cross ridge boundaries reviewed. Blaise Vyner 1995

Early Man in N.E. Yorkshire. Frank Elgee 1930

Pastscape 

J C Atkinson – The Last of the Giant Killers

JC Atkinson

In almost every instance what may be called the starting-point of the several stories depends upon, or is connected with, local legend, local fact (of whatever kind), or ‘local habitation.’ The Giant-casts, Giant building-works ; the King Arthur legend; the legends of the Loathly Worm ; of the nightly destruction of the day-done work of Church-building, and the ultimate flitting of the materials to another site ; of the Barguest or Church-grim; of the insatiable Hunter with his horses and hounds buried with him, and his doom to hunt for ever, or until the Day of Judgment; of the other presentation of the same idea involved in the Gabble-ratchet notion; of the underground passages from historic buildings; of the guarded treasure reachable by some of them; and the like, are — at least have been — not only as actually localised in this district as in any other in England or the northern Continent of Europe, but have been, nay, are still, more readily accepted and accredited than the great slides and falls of rock and earth from the moor-banks, or the former prevalence and sway of the Wolf in our forest fastnesses. For even the fact that, as late as 1395 the ‘tewing’ or dressing and tanning of fourteen wolfskins, in a lot, is charged for in the accounts of Whitby Abbey, while it is enough to suggest that, in remoter places such as the forest-begrown wilds of Danby and Westerdale, those pleasant neighbours must have had a ‘ royal time of it,’ is still not enough to keep alive in the popular mind the circumstance that the Woodales in those parishes were ‘dales’ named after the ‘wolf ‘ and not after the ‘wood,’ or that the many Wolf-pits, Wolf-hows, and so on, we still hear of about, are but the scanty remains of hosts of like-named places or objects.

Taken from the preface of one of my favourite books, The Last of the Giant Killers or The Exploits of Sir Jack of Danby Dale written by the Rev. J. C. Atkinson and published in 1891