Ten miles from Pickering is the village of Rosedale Abbey. There is no Abbey just a rather nice parish church which I once visited for Sunday Spires a few years back. There is a pub and a campsite and super riverside cafe selling cream teas. Stock up because we are going exploring. 1 1/2 miles out of Rosedale Abbey on the road to Castleton is a sharp left turn to Upton, otherwise known as Rosedale East.
Pretty and peaceful, the Dale spreads out in front of you. But look closely, because that is not a natural view. Once upon a time this valley ( Dale) was once completely forested. Gradually it was cleared for sheep to graze and the wealthy to shoot grouse. The moorland heather and gorse took over. But look again even closer, notice that there appears to be a ridge or road running along the far side. It’s not a road but the remains of a railway which runs right around the Dale. For this was once the hub of coal mining and iron works which only stopped production in the 1920’s. Let’s walk.
A few houses remain. This is School Row, now mostly second homes and holiday cottages.
And this is High Row. Again no phone signal here, get stuck and you will need that phone box.
The iron works were very short-lived. This little community went from 558 people in 1851 to 2,839 in 1871,then 1396 in 1901 to 286 in 1961. Each house was occupied by a family and several miners who lodged with them. Everyone else was housed in Rosedale Abbey.
I visited at the end of April, the sun was shining but boy was it windy. Imagine what it must have been like to work there through some really severe winters.
Let’s go on.
This farm stands on the site of what was the iron foreman’s house. The miners had to walk up the track every day past his more luxurious accommodation to go to work. Passing the house on the left the track becomes the old railway line, all that remains of that is a cinder track.
This is what remains of the Coal depot, for this was the end of the railway which transported iron up to North East.
Walking along the top of the Dale now past the Old calcinating Kilns where the iron ore was processed.
The chimney up above is a ventilation shaft for the coal mines below ground.
Looking back along the way I walked the railway is the lower ridge and the tramway which connected everything is above, by the remains of buildings on the higher level.
Here I paused at the site of a ruined house.
Love the fireplace, and can you imagine the view from the window.
I clambered up to the tramway with numerous rabbits for company to explore the top buildings.
A row of cottages.
Workshops long gone.
Not a bridge to nowhere but the forgotten entrance to a coal mine.
I say a while , just me , the curlews and rabbits. Peaceful and calm. All the noise and busyness gone, but not forgotten. I shall find out more, I am hooked on this place.
So long Rosedale East.
I hope you enjoyed my walk and exploration of quite a different kind of Yorkshire village. And if you ever go yourself, tell the rabbits I sent you.