HISTORY WALKS –
Reports on history walks and a kind comment from some of our very supportive members………..
ROSEDALE ABBEY VILLAGE HISTORY WALK starting on Village Green.
A small group of us, several from different parts of the country and one or two more locally based, walked around the village and took in the various sites while being given some historical information and shown archive photographs of the people, buildings and sites from the archive. We managed to survive a cold day and our visitors enjoyed the opportunity to learn a little more about Rosedale Abbey.
HOLLINS, ANA CROSS & BANK TOP, starting at White Horse car park
A group of 12 enjoyed a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon walk to Hollins and up to Ana (Ainhowe) before moving on to Bank Top and the site of the railway terminus, railway cottages and remains of the calcining kilns. One of our guests was delighted also to find the site of some cottages (now long gone) where a mining ancestor and his family had lived. The family were not aware of a Rosedale connection until recently. A successful walk with some excellent feedback.
NORTHDALE via Northdale Beck starting Rosedale Abbey Village Green
Sadly, due to a continuous and persistent downpour, our group had to abandon the walk after about 15 minutes of walking. The rain went on for hours, so we made the right decision. We will try and re-schedule this walk as most of the group have requested this.
EAST MINES & DALE HEAD, starting at School Row, Updale
14 participants set off from School Row in pleasant sunshine, returning four and a half hours later after a good walk in the most wonderful landscape. After a lot of mining history, we walked to Dale Head beyond Reeking Gill to the site of the 1860s navvies’ huts and returned along the Line, enjoying the outstanding views. The state of the track bed is a concern as there appears to have been a lot of rabbit damage. The National Park Authority are aware of the condition of the line and we keep them updated with photographs. We are hopeful that a bid for funding for industrial archaeology will allow us to have an opportunity to protect our walking routes – we cannot afford to lose them.
ROSEDALE ABBEY VILLAGE HISTORY WALK starting on Village Green.
A small group took a stroll around the village in sunshine on what is proving to be a popular short walk. It appeals to visitors who want to know the background to the varied history of this small community and the people who have lived here. It is possible to do this walk at any time of the year (not just the summer months) so please contact me if your group would like to make a booking.
THORGILL, MEDD’S FARM & SHERIFF’S PIT, starting and finishing at White Horse car park. Taking in the history of Thorgill, Rosedale West. Who would have thought a small hamlet could provide such a mix of social history? On to Medd’s farm and stables, up the dale side to the Sheriff’s ironstone mine entrances and beyond, to Sheriff’s Pit head. time allowing, a visit to Sledshoe along the old rail track then back along the line to Bank Top, the west end terminus, Hollins incline and calcining kilns. Down Chimney Bank, once the route of the Rosedale Freak Hill climbs. Showing archive photographs en route.
We were hit by a bad weather forecast in the morning and come 2.00p.m. only seven of the 13 participants actually turned up! However, undaunted, we set off in the company of our National Park volunteer ranger, Paul Grantham acting as back marker. We had made the decision to shorten the route and not take in the pit head and railway line, due to the very changeable weather. It was cool, very overcast with rainclouds looming over Dale head as we made our way along the road to Thorgill, branching off over the fields beyond Thorgill House, past Rattan Row and into the hamlet. It got a bit windier and we fully expected to be drenched by the time we got to Medd’s. As we stood inside the stables, Sue Atkinson gave us a brief description of the internal layout as it was at the time when the building housed pit ponies in the 19th and very early 20thC. She very kindly made us all a cup of tea while the rain came down!
A photograph taken in 2012 showing a mine adit with tramway track on the platform above Medd’s Farm where the main entrance to the Sheriff’s Pit ironstone mine was situated. This area was worked previously for coal.
After this welcome break and happily avoiding further rain, we walked up the hillside on very boggy ground which would have been far worse had not the National Park rangers spent time cutting down a lot of vegetation and making a sort of matting which absorbed the worst of the mud. It was quite spectacular, even on a grey day, to stand on the pit platform* taking in the magnificent sweep of the dale, and much to our delight the sun came out and the sky turned blue. The landscape looked incredible and cameras clicked as several of us took the opportunity to capture the scene.
Having heard some history of the site and the people who had worked here, the group returned to Thorgill and came back home as the light was fading. We were sad not to have been able to take planned route but everyone seemed to have enjoyed their walk and went away with a free copy of the Rosedale Railway Heritage Guide. We are most grateful to Paul for accompanying us on this walk and to Sue Atkinson at Medd’s for allowing us to shelter during the rain and providing that most welcome cup of tea!
If any group would like an escorted walk or for any other information, contact the RHS secretary on
PAST EVENTS 2013
A local stonemason began work almost immediately on re-setting the dilapidated wall sections and by the of the day, we had a cleared site. When we went back a week later, Paul had already started work on rebuilding a taller back wall to what is beginning to resemble a tank or water storage set-up rather than the characteristic pond. We await the full written report on the findings and, in the meantime, will make updates of the work as it proceeds. The Metcalfes are to be congratulated on doing a great deal of conservation work round and about Midge Hole and ensuring the pond’s survival for, we hope, another 100 years.
- UPDATE. The pond on the 17 July– we visited the pond today and found that the wall at the back of the site is progressing well and that although the water level is down, it is holding. Jackie says that there has been a lot of interest from passers-by and residents and they are looking forward to seeing the work completed when the stonemason has finished shearing. Swallows have been swooping over the pond catching midges!
September –the stonework is complete and the next stage is relining the pond. The roadside feature looks very impressive. The archaeologist’s report has arrived and we will continue to look at the progress of the site.
- In November, the clay arrived and all 10 tons of it, from Alne Brick Works near Easingwold, was used to cover the base. the Metcalfes now have a fully-functioning pond.
- THE JUBILEE in Rosedale. On Monday, 4 JUNE we set up a display of photographs at the back of the church (by kind permission of the Vicar) with access from the Turret Field where the stalls and teas were located. THE SUN SHONE BRIGHTLY! We were incredibly lucky as many thought the rain would spoil the fun. Our project, based on the period covering the last 60 years in Rosedale, has proved very successful and many residents have written about their lives here and the houses they live in. We would like to thank all those who took part and made it such a successful day.
PAST EVENTS – 2011
ROSEDALE HISTORY WEEKEND – Sat. 10th & Sun. 11th September 2011
- Toasting the Engineers and Navvies – in the foreground,
- Malcolm Bisby, the Mines and Railways expert Cutting the Cake
Nearly 70 people from “both ends of the line” met up on a most beautiful day; the sun shining and the views spectacular, with many of us dressed in Victorian costume much to the amusement of a packed pub. We decorated a large room and entered into the spirit of the occasion with speeches, toasts and an exchange of gifts. A beautiful, railway-themed cake was ceremoniously sliced by Caroline Seymour, Chairman of the North Riding County Council, and the new Rosedale Railway Heritage Trail Guide was launched.
The lunch itself was very enjoyable and we’ve received some excellent feedback confirming that “a grand day” was had by all and it will be remembered as a very happy occasion. The project continues with a travelling display to schools, village halls etc. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a to see it locally.