Thanks to Andrew, Jan, Kevin, Alison, Hannah, Stephen, Daz, Helen, Darren, Brian, Paul who all came for a wander with us last night also the dogs,
Lilla, Tilly, Dora, Rupert and Charlie.
Starting off from the car park at the top of Birk Brow we crossed the A171 onto Stanghow Moor and climbed up towards Woodhill Gill Head.
This brought us onto part of the Quakers Causeway which is a panniermans trod which runs towards Danby. It is likely that it was first laid down in the 1300s as part of the route used by Monks travelling from Guisborough Priory to other religious houses such as Rievaulx or Whitby. It’s age can be gauged by the concave smoothness of the flags caused by the many human feet that have, and still continue to cross the moor's.
Leaving the flags behind we followed a minor vehicle track used by the game keepers and the like. After rejoining the main footpath we dropped down across a boggy area towards The Intake and Tidkinhow Slack where there are a number of boundary stones marking the edge of land once owned by the Challoner family from Guisborough. Adjacent to these stones stands Hob Cross which bears the inscription RC 1798 which pertains to Robert Challoner. The cross itself is probably medieval and like so many of the crosses throughout the North Yorkshire Moors was used as a way marker primarily for clerical travellers moving about on monastic business. After our circumambulation of Hob Cross we pottered off towards the tattered remnants of Westworth Wood which is now almost totally felled. However the dolomite track that winds up towards the Cleveland Way makes the ascent somewhat easier, though to my mind it was a lot more fun when it was just a small forest track winding between the trees.
Once onto the Cleveland Way we followed its course down through Spa Wood towards Charltons. The path crosses land used by the Guisborough & District Motorcycle Club for trials events, so airborne bikes need to be borne in mind if you can hear revving engines.
Once we reached Charltons we crossed the A171 and began the ascent up Birk Brow, a long runnable climb that winds its way up from the 140 metre contour line to the 250 metre contour line, making for a nice sting in the tail to finish the run with. Judging by the number of PRs everyone got on Strava you were all giving it a good go. So in all we ran 6 miles with just under a 1000ft of elevation over a variety of terrain and surfaces. After a quick wash and brush up we popped to the Jolly Sailors for refreshments, well most of us did but that’s another story…😉
Until next week trot on…..🦍
The last two pictures are regarding the 6 stoup stones that sit beside the A171 just after the car park at Birk Brow as you head towards Lockwood Beck. They were ancient way markers that guided those travelling on foot through a particularly boggy part of the moor , in 2005 the Rotary Club of Guisborough had them restored…
Stoup or stoupe relates to a basin for holy water , though it derives from old Norse staup or steep in respect of a hill or gradient so my guess is the stones were originally on rising ground out of an area of swang.