Saturday, April 30, 2016

Another Whinstone House (Pickering)

This is the  third house I've discovered made from locally sourced basalt/whinstone.  This example and the smallest I've found so far is on the road out of Pickering to Newton-upon-Rawcliffe.  

The other two houses are much bigger - Greytowers mansion in Nunthorpe and Undercliffe Hall

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cheese Stones, Baysdale

At Baysdale 615050 are a small group of boulders.   These are mentioned by Stanhope White (Standing Stones & Earthworks on the North Yorkshire Moors 1987) who seems to think these are man  made perhaps.  I looked on top of all the boulders and sure enough they are lots.  And on other boulders too.  Frank Elgee an

eminent author does not think these are man made.  Some of these look as though they have suffered much erosion around the edges which cuts into the circular depressions and several are on the top and very precariously it must have been for anyone trying to chip  into the rocks as there is little to no room in some places.  The top picture also shows a cross on one  small boulder.  The lower picture shows another group of depressions taken whilst standing on one of the much higher stones.

I don't know who Maurice H Close 1928 was but have included it in anycase.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Invaders From......

.... Paddling down the R.Tees near Newsham we came across this tropical rain forest.  Alas, it consists of mainly three introduced species and non of them from the tropics

Giant Hogweed, from Southern Russian/Caucasus
Japanese Knotweed, from errrr??? Japan!
Himalayan Balsam, from ????  Oh, yes - the Himalayan mountains.

All three species spread easily down rivers and in some areas, such as this on the Tees forms dense stands eliminating all native species.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Inscribed Rocks on the Moors

There are many inscribed stones within the NYMNP.  Many are well known and recorded by Stanhope White and others.  Some record roads being built, others boundaries.  This one near the south end of Jugger Howe Beck is enscribed:-  

"Oct 1948  This day we pledged our troth". 

I wonder who this was and whether they ever got married.  Its entirely possible that one or both of them are still alive.  Perhaps the lettering lower down records the day they actually got married?  Who knows?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another Whinstone house, Undercliffe Hall, Great Ayton

 Grey Towers  is one house I know of which is built from basalt or whinstone as its known locally.  Another house is Undercliffe Hall, just outside Great Ayton.

This large victorian house was built by William Jones in 1873 who owned the first chemical plant on Teesside.

Like Grey Towers all the stone around the windows and the quoin stones are all of local sandstone.  The remainder is all local basalt which in this case only came from the quarries less than a mile away.

I also noticed some of the entrance gate contained some basalt and it may be that some of the gatehouse is also basalt judging by the size of the stonework.  Unfortunately for me the gate house is now painted white. So I can't be sure!

In Pickering for the war weekend I noticed a cottage, appropriately called Whinstone Cottage, which was also constructed of the small blocks of basalt.  It is opposite the old mill on the road by the trout farm.

If anyone knows of any other buildings built out of this black hard stone, contact me please.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wheeldale Moor

One of my favourite places is on  Wheeldale Moor.  There's everything from bronze ages tumuli, through to WWII archeology and later.  Here's an example:-

Walk up Rutmoor beck and around 780963 you'll see this.  It doesn't appear to have been a building and I'm not quite sure it was an enclosure either. 

A couple of hundred meters SW of Wheeldale Howe stands the 'Blue-man-i-the-Moss', probably a bronze age stone and standing on the Rydale/Eskdale boundary.
There's an old letter 'E' carved in it, probably for 'Egton' and a rather modern blue man painted on it. At the base is a modern memorial to someone.

And a couple of hundred meters SE of Wheeldale How lay the remains of a 'green goddess', an old army fire tender, burnt out in the severe fires of 1976. (767990) Over the years the ravages of scrap hunters, the elements and souvenir hunters have all but reduced this from the much large lorry it once was.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Down at Ravenscar quite well hidden near the fault line lies this carved rock.  Its not particularly obvious and is quite large.  Its laid flat on the rocks and is far too heavy to stand up without using a lever of some sort.

From personal experience I'd guess that to do this carving would take a good few hours.  

Someone took a lot of time and effort to do this but I've never  been able to find out anything about it.

Any one know?
And here not far from the previous picture I came across another neptune, clearly by the same hand and yet again hidden away, in this case off the path down to the rocky foreshaw