11. Crosses and stone markers in the Castleton and Danby Area
There are many crosses on the North Yorkshire Moors, mostly medieval in origin to mark important roads, but some no doubt have a different tale to tell.
White Cross (OS grid NZ 679108) is above Castleton at the T junction with the road up from Commondale (in the background). The base may be medieval and the remaining shaft 'dressed' 18th century stonework, but some consider both pieces relatively modern? On two sides of the shaft is a carved cross (date?). Several paved pannier ways or stone trods lead from it to Castleton, Commondale, Guisborough.
If you follow the track eastwards from White Cross with the 'peak' of Freebrough Hill is just visible on the right you eventually .....
... find a few hundred metres along on the left, and easily missed, Job Cross, corruption of Hob Cross, (OS grid 686110), which does not appear to be near any track or road these days. Possibly where a track from Moorsholm to Castleton crossed the old west road, part of the Siss Cross Road. It is a modern plain dressed stone set into the original medieval base.
Continuing eastwards and then heading south-east you can find the old trig point on Siss Cross Hill, the highest point on the northern extremity of Danby Low Moor, here looking towards the coast and Freebrough Hill (in the distance, just to the left of the trig point).
Looking from the now dues to satellites 'defunct' trig point over the huge expanse of moorland towards Fryup Dale and Danby Dale.
Wandering down further in a south easterly direction you find 'Siss Cross' (OS grid NZ 704105), nothing remains of original cross and has been 'replaced' with upright angular stone. The view from 'Siss Cross' looking south towards Fryup Dale and Danby Dale. Some consider no remains of the medieval cross and a stone erected to mark its undisputed position.
Siss cross, looking eastwards towards the 'peak' of Danby Beacon (top left), which in fact is a bronze/iron? age burial mound or tumulus (you can just make it out!). You can then follow the Siss Cross 'Road' - path! down to Rosedale Intake at the top end of Danby.
After descending south to the top end of Danby, a small diversion off the path to Castleton - is what is believed to be a prehistoric standing stone, found by Peter Woods and re-erected on his land near Rosedale Intake en route for Castleton-Danby medieval Park wood and onto Castleton village on the ridge road south.
Castleton on the ridge (ii), viewed from the Castleton-Danby path through the ancient 'hunting' Park Wood (i). Prior to the building of Danby Castle, the first castle was built overlooking the important River Esk crossing point, where the modern bridge, built 1874, centre of picture (iii), replaced the medieval Bow Bridge.
Fragments of North Yorkshire Moors history & archaeology sites * docspics photos images pictures © Phil Brown Northern England * Archaeological and Historic Holiday Trips, Historic Towns, Villages, Buildings, Museums
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