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44. A circular walk from Jervaulx Abbey

This page illustrates Walk No. 25 Jervaulx Abbey (~7 miles)

from Paul Hannon's book Walking Country - Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales

There is good car parking by the Jervaulx Abbey Tearoom! (PLEASE put 1 in the honesty box)


The walk starts from the fields-parkland of Jervaulx Park, in which the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey lie.



You head west through Jervaulx Park towards Lane House ...


... and along Kilgram Lane through very well kept 'parkland' ...


... passing a large clean pond used for fishing.


You head north up the road, passing Kilgram Grange (on your right) and over the ancient and very fine four-arched Kilgram Bridge (possibly 500 years old?).


Looking west up the River Ure to lower Wensleydale.


You turn left immediately and head west across the fields to Woodhouse and onto the village of Thornton Steward ...


... with pleasant views of lower Wensleydale.


The village green of Thornton Steward with the old green pump on the left.


The old Manse of Thornton Steward.


The 1925 Institute building at the top right of the village green.


On heading down to St Oswald's church you pass a fine sturdy house on the left.


After heading south-west down either the track or road you come to the lovely (quite isolated) little church of St Oswald, Anglo-Saxon-early Norman in appearance, a lovely surviving piece of 'ancient' architecture. The chancel (far right section), except for the modern windows, is Early English from ~1310. The nave are the outer wall of the porch are pre-Norman/Saxon from before 1066 and the twin portal bellcote on the upper left is early 13th century.


Its origins are ancient as evidenced by some of the stonework.

Left: The Norman-Early English font from ~1210

Middle: A little early Norman one light window.

Right: An Anglo-Saxon carving of a head-figure.


Left: The south-west Norman doorway, and, though much weathered by many centuries, you can still just make out the characteristic chevron or zig-zag markings of the door arch - the Celtic cross below is a modern carving.

Middle: The much weathered two light window in the south wall of the nave of the Decorated style from ~1330.

Right: Also in the south wall of the nave, a neo-gothic two light window.


Several medieval coffins lie in the churchyard.


After St Oswald's Church you continue west across the fields ...


.... passing St Oswald ...


... and on through what feels like more parkland ...


... until you reach the splendid buildings of Danby Hall, in which a 15th century pele tower exists! ...


... with its magnificent 19th century facade. Danby Hall was once the home of the Scrope family, a Catholic family of some influence who hid priests, attended clandestine masses and somehow survived the turbulent times of Tudor-Elizabethan England.


After leaving the 'parkland' of Danby Hall ...


... you come down to the north bank of the River Ure and the buildings that were once Danby Low Mill


You then pick up the road to Ulshaw. On your right is the graveyard of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Simon and St Jude (built 1868), in the tiny hamlet of Ulshaw ...


... with its Crucifixion sculpture at the top.


You then turn left over the wonderful four arched Ulshaw Bridge ...


... with a sun-dial dated 1674 inserted in one of the refuges on the bridge ..


... and pleasant views up and down stream ...


... and then carry on from Ulshaw Bridge to Cover Bridge by which sits the white painted Coverbridge Inn.


Immediately after crossing Cover Bridge by the Cover Bridge Inn you turn left ...


... to walk along the south banks of the River Cover ...


... which eventually merges with the River Ure near Danby Low Mill.


You follow the south bank of the attractive River Ure for most of the rest of the walk which is a lovely short walk in itself from a Jervaulx Abbey and down by the River Ure is a good picnic spot.


On your right you pass fish ponds of the Danby and Jervaulx fly fishers (only!) in the Fish Pond Plantation. The fishbond has been made from an ox-bow lake and, as the notice says, it is for the use of private members only!


At the end of the river bank path you turn right, heading south back to Jervaulx Abbey ...


At the road turn left going past 'The Old Hall' or 'Jervaulx Hall' on your left.


Your choice is then the Jervaulx Abbey ruins or the Jervaulx Abbey Tearoom, or both!

More pictures of the lovely ruins of Jervaulx Abbey in the crisp late afternoon sunlight below.

(PLEASE put 2 in the honesty box if visiting Jervaulx Abbey)

Jervaulx Abbey was founded Cistercian Monks in 1156, who originally came from Byland Abbey.


The name Jervaulx is derived from Yore Vale, Yore being the old name for the River Ure.


At the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, Jervaulx suffered grievously and much of the stone removed to construct other buildings in the locality.


The last Abbott, Adam Sedbar was taken to the Tower of London for his execution.








The pleasant 'parkland' around Jervaulx Abbey which is mainly inhabited by sheep and the end of the walk - now we head for a little refreshment.


The Jervaulx Abbey tearoom cafe is most pleasant place to have a cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake.


A model in the tea room cafe shows what Jervaulx Abbey would have been like when fully built.

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