Suuealuue fluminis, Sualuae, Swalan Stream, Swalewe, Sualadala, Swaledal
White Cross survives as a base of local fine gritstone…The shaft is dressed in a chevron pattern indicating a post medieval date probably in the 19th century. The base is dateable to the medieval period. The east face of the base has the inscription – White Cross. Each face of the shaft is carved with a simple cross with equal arms 0.22m across. The east face has an OS bench mark cut near the ground. The cross has been whitewashed over the years according to the practice of the Downe Estate. The cross stands in its original position 2m from the edge of the old route from Castleton across Danby Low Moor. It also acts as a boundary marker for the medieval parishes of Danby and Commondale and now the county constituency of Cleveland and Whitby. The original shaft for this cross is in a museum at Whitby.
EXTRACT FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE’S RECORD OF SCHEDULED MONUMENTS
I’ve visit Maiden Castle a number of times, every time I visit I come away a little more confused.
The site is cut into the side of High Harker Hill, above an old Corpse Road, if you weren’t aware of its location you would be unlikely to stumble across it.
There are two long barrows/cairns associated with the enclosure, one is located on high ground to the west of the site, the other is at the eastern end of a massive stone avenue. The barrows are thought to be late Neolithic/Bronze age in date
Two linear mounds of stone up to 1.5m high form a unique feature, an avenue which runs for over 100m from a large ruined barrow to the entrance of the enclosure.
The enclosure ditch is up to 4m deep in places with the bank rising between 4-5m above the ditch. The counterscarp on the south side of the enclosure rises above the rampart top. This means that it is possible to overlook the enclosure from the outside implying that the enclosure was not built for defence.
Inside the enclosure there are two circular settings that are thought to be hut circles. A recent geophysical survey has revealed other possible hut circles within the enclosure. There is also small cist visible within the centre of the structure.
Due to its uniqueness and the lack of any dateable material, Archaeologists are unable to suggest a definitive time period for the monument. A date range from the Bronze Age to Romano-British period has been suggested.
This monument should not be seen an an isolated site. The location of the monument in the wider landscape may give some clues to its purpose.
- Situated within a landscape that has rich evidence of occupation since the Neolithic period. On the moor above the monument there is a stone circle, ring cairns, cairnfields and linear dykes.
- Good access to a number of trans-Pennine routes linking the Vale of York with northern & eastern Cumbria
- Situated within the Pennine ore fields surrounded by deposits of lead, zinc, silver and copper. A pig of lead inscribed with the name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138) was discovered at the Hurst mine at Marrick. Lead was a valuable and abundant metal in the Roman empire.
- The road beneath the monument turns south into Wensleydale and leads directly to the Roman fort at Bainbridge (Virosidum) and the junction of up to five Roman roads.
- Other resources – coal and large quantities of chert. Chert was important resource for making tools in prehistory. Across the river at Fremington Edge there are sufficient quantities of chert for it to be exploited commercially up until the mid 20th century for use in the Staffordshire pottery industries.
Map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
Why did the Romans build a fort at Bainbridge? Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Archaeological Group. 2009
The church is an ordinary building, raised on a considerable elevation. The sexton being engaged in harvesting, we were unable to procure the key, but easily found admission by the window, shewing, as in good King Edgar’s time, that there is no dread of dishonest or sacrilegious intruders. We were exceedingly well paid for our escalade, by the unexpected and therefore agreeable discovery of a noble specimen of early Norman (if not Saxon) architecture, in the round arch dividing the chancel of the church from the nave.
J W Ord 1846
ST MICHAEL. Nave and chancel and bell-turret. All of the restoration of 1902-3, it seems, except large patches of masonry which look Norman. They are indeed; for the chancel arch is a quite spectacular Norman piece of three orders.
Nikolaus Pevsner 1966
I was keen to visit this beautiful church after reading Rita Ward’s paper, The Romanesque Chancel Arch at Liverton. She explains how the arch has the appearance of a teaching scheme, the right side of the arch depicts the fall of man and the potential for redemption. The left hand side of the arch is purely symbolic, to be read as a metaphor of spiritual things, in the anagogical sense.
The fall, salvation and the hope of heavenAdam and the tree of lifeAdam and Eve and the serpent
Eve and an Angel, foliate head, Hunter and horn The Green Man or foliate head is thought to represent Christ the Vine, the life giving blood and eternal life.
The boar hunt. The boar symbolises the devil, the two good dogs stay with the hunter, the third dog strays and is trampled by the boar.
The snake-like Wyvern. In the classical Roman tradition, the snake shedding its skin is a suggestion of eternal life.
The Chancel Arch is made of three orders. The two inner orders of chevrons suggest the power of God in the altar, the third, outer, order is comprised of bestial masks emitting foliage suggesting resurrection and heaven.
There is a lovely old photograph on the East Cleveland Image Archive of the arch prior to the restoration of the church.
Thanks to Karen Ward, Church Warden, and the parishioners of Liverton for their warm welcome and allowing me to photograph their beautiful church.
The History & Antiquities of Cleveland. John Walker Ord. 1846
The Buildings of England, Yorkshire The North Riding. Nikolaus Pevsner. 1966
The Romanesque Chancel Arch at Liverton. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol.78 2006
The Old Wife’s Way
Don Spratt reported that the skeleton of a red deer was found during the drainage operations in peat near the north shore of the prehistoric lake at Seamer Grange Farm. Pollen analysis of the layer indicated a date of approximately 8000 BCE. He also reported that a flint scraper and a piece of deer antler were ploughed up at the end of a small boulder clay peninsular which projects into the prehistoric lake from its southern shore.
Sources: Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1976 & 1977
Let the country along the shores be viewed; see what timbers lie buried in the sands, the memorials of fallen forests…The whole shore at low water exhibits the stems of trees washed up by the roots, preserved to this day by the moss earth in which they lie. Hutchinson 1785-94
In 1871, due to shifting sands, the deposits were exposed in three or four locations and remained exposed for a number of weeks. During this time local people collected and the peat, it was reported to smell like a tannery when wet but when dried it was an excellent substitute for coal
March borrowed from April
Three days and they were ill;
The first o’ them war wind an’ weet,
The next o’ them war snaw an’ sleet,
The last o’ them war wind an’ rain,
Which gaed the silly pair ewes come toddling hame.
Bale Hill – Smelting place or slag heap, Bink – A stone bench, Botchet – Honey liquor / Mead, Brant – Steep, Carling – An old shrew, Chaugh/Chaff – The lower jaw, Crocket – a small wooden stool, Donfron – Labourers afternoon drinking, Dowdy Cow/Judy Cow – A small shiney beetle, Goitstead – An old watercourse, Gowpens – handfuls, Nep – Hazel, Reckling – The last child, Riggot – A horse with only one testicle, Rummleduster – Unruly, Scab Andrew – A worthless fellow, Seg – A gelded mature bull, Stevin – To rant, Teeave – to wade in snow, Trapes – A slattern, a draggletail trollop, Wharrel – a quarry, Yowden – a fissure in a rock or the earth.
This lovely tenth century Anglo-Norse Grave cover has been re-used as a lintel over the south door to All Saints church, Crathorne. Two other hogbacks found at Crathorne can be see here