Monday, September 30, 2019

Whitby (Yorkshire Adventure 9)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.
From Robin Hood's Bay, we drove north to Whitby.

The ruins of Whitby Abbey are among the most celebrated sights of North Yorkshire. The first monastery here, founded in about 657, became a Benedictine abbey after the Norman Conquest, and its shell now dominates the headland of the East Cliff above Whitby, overlooking the North Sea. 

Whitby floral clock.

Whitby is special to Australians in that it was from here that Captain Cook began his epic journey to Australia in 1770.  Here in Whitby is "the only life size replica of Captain Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour in the northern hemisphere."  I felt that the main thrust of this vessel is tourism rather than autheticity as it "includes a well-stocked gift shop and 60 seat cafĂ© serving light snacks and refreshments."

We took a walk along the harbour:

We had dinner at "The Fisherman's Wife" in Whitby.

Judith and Paul both had fish pie.

I had scampi and chips (eyes closed in blissful anticipation).

We walked back to the car past this view of the 11th century St Mary's Church, then drove back to Maltby.   All of these Whitby pictures are Paul's - after this intense day of sightseeing, my phone battery had run out. What a great day - thank you Paul and Judith.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Robin Hood Bay (Yorkshire Adventure 8)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

After our exciting race from Pickering to Levisham Station, we took a more leisurely drive to Robin Hood's Bay on the coast.

Robin Hood's Bay is an exquisitely picturesque old fishing and smuggling village.

 We parked at the top of the cliff and walked down many steps to the beach below.
Halfway down (Paul's picture).

Down (Paul's picture).

The Bay Hotel.  The red sign warns that the incoming tide will block your return to the slipway.  We kept our eyes open.

Walking back up the hill.

Judith and I looking in the window of a jeweller's shop displaying jewellery featuring jet, a specialty of the area (Paul's picture).

Fuchsias seemed to do very well in Robin Hood's Bay:

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Levisham Station (Yorkshire Adventure 7)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

The railway that runs from Whitby to Pickering is one of the oldest in Yorkshire, surveyed by George Stephenson in 1836.  After many years of service to the area, it was closed by British Rail in 1965.  However, in 1973, a group of enthusiasts succeeded in reopening the section between Grosmont and Pickering for steam engines.  Today, it is run by both full time staff and volunteers, and is the busiest heritage railway in the British Isles, carrying over 350,000 passengers per year. 

When we went to the station at Pickering to see a steam engine, we were told we could intercept one at Levisham, a station on the way to Pickering, as long as we hurried over the steep road over the moors which included hairpin bends and one-in-three gradients both up and down.  

Paul was obviously a rally driver in earlier life as he leapt to this challenge with relish.  I was in the passenger seat with my heart in my mouth as we flew around blind corners and up crests, with only fresh air visible at the top.  We arrived at the station triumphantly, gasping for breath, only to be told that the train was running 15 minutes late.  At least we did get to see it.  (Paul's picture above).

Here is Judith waiting patiently at the station, after our exciting ride (Paul's picture).

The steam railway hosts a lot of dress-up events, including Christmas and Halloween and period celebrations, e.g. wartime.
Here are Allo Allo stars Kim Hartman (Greta) and Richard Gibson (Herr Flick) posing with two proud volunteers.

AT last!  Here comes the train.

At the station (Paul's picture).

Pickering (Yorkshire Adventure 6)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

The Parish of St Peter and St Paul, Pickering, has "one of the most complete series of wall paintings in English churches, and they give one a vivid idea of what ecclesiastical interiors were really like". (Nicholas Pevsner, The Buildings of England.)

This is a Saxon Church, rebuilt by the Normans in the 11th century.  The paintings were discovered in 1851, covered over again then restored in the 1870s.

St George slaying the dragon.

The beheading of St John the Baptist.  Just in case you miss the significance of this event, his head is shown twice – once on the floor beside his kneeling headless body (a bit hard to see in this shot) and again on the platter being presented to Herod at the table.

Very little is known about St Edmund.  By tradition he met his death after he refused the Danes' demand that he renounce Christ: the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows and then beheaded him.
The wall paintings were mainly very graphic and bloodthirsty.  You wouldn't have gone to church for peaceful meditation.  All pictures except for the unfortunate St Edmund are Paul's.

St Gregory's Minster (Yorkshire Adventure 5)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

St Gregory's Minster at Kirkdale was built around 1060.  While the term "minster" usually refers to a large or important church, which this one didn't seem to be, it can also refer to a church with monastic origins, or just be a vagary of local custom, which we decided must be the case here.  There was a garland of fresh flowers over the door, and the path was strewn with rose petals, as there had recently been a wedding here.

St Gregory's is famous for this rare sundial (now over the door and out of the sun) which dates to the 11th century (Paul's picture).

While we were sitting on a bench outside having a cup of tea and a Kit Kat, an elderly Yorkshireman, Edward Christopher Wood, drove up to bring in the bins, and we had a great chat with him.  While the front part of the graveyard, near the entrance to the church, had  pristine green grass, the back part is fenced off and has sheep on it.  However, Edward told us that Mrs Binks and some other ladies of the village had identified some endangered wildflowers growing in the back part of the graveyard, and asked for the sheep to be kept out of that area until the end of summer, when the wildflowers had finished (Paul's picture).  

The wildflowers must have finished, because the sheep are back.

Hutton-le-Hole (Yorkshire Adventure 4)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

Most of the houses in this pretty village were built between 1650 and 1750, and were crowded with spinners, weavers, smallholders and labourers.   

At various times until the 20th century, the town also supported limeburners, ironstone miners, carriers, blacksmiths, joiners and shoemakers, not to mention the occasional hawker, ropemaker and “bird-stuffer”.

Today, as witnessed by the proliferation of coffee shops, restaurants and gift shops, the main industry is tourism.  Because of this, there is no available parking, so Paul and Judith dropped me off to take pictures then scooped me up again.

Lastingham (Yorkshire Adventure 3)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

The village of Lastingham lies amid the "soft hills" that fringe the southern edge of the North York Moors.  

St Cedd, a missionary from Lindisfarne, founded a monastery here around AD 654, and the Saxon monastery was refounded as a Benedictine house in 1078.   In 1228 the former monastic church became the parish church of St Mary's for Lastingham village.

Simon Jenkins, author of England's Thousand Best Churches, calls the Norman crypt of St Mary's church in Lastingham 'one of England's special places'.

10th century cross shaft.

A "hog-back" tombstone in the crypt.

Baa baa black sheep.

North York Moors (Yorkshire Adventure 2)

Monday, 23rd September, 2019.

We started going upwards, onto the North York Moors.  Wild and beautiful, with lots of fresh air.

Down into a dip ....

.... then up again.

The hill in the middle is Roseberry Topping, which Paul and Judith can see from their house.

Roseberry Topping up closer (Paul's picture - and his long lens).  Paul and Judith like their view of Roseberry Topping, so Paul keeps both their hedge - and the hedge on the other side of the road - trimmed to the appropriate level so they can always see it.

Grouse shooting butt.

Bell heather.

Grazing sheep (Paul's picture) ....

.... and up closer.