8. A walk around Rosedale and the old ironstone mines
An Industrial Archaeology Walk
Views of Rosedale, North York Moors
A spot of Industrial Archaeology
At one time, the much sought after ironstone!
These pictures illustrate Route 3 "Rosedale's Mineral Railway" from "Ten Scenic Walks around Rosedale, Farndale and Hutton-le-Hole" by J. Brian Beadle or the "Upper Rosedale" walk from "Walking on the North York Moors" compiled by the Ramblers Association but starting from the car park near Blakey Ridge (12 miles).
The pictures were mainly taken on glorious winter days and very grey winter days!
In 1861 a railway was constructed from Battersby Junction below the Moors in the east and came east right across to the east side Rosedale by 1865. However as the ironstone ran out the line closed in 1929, but there is considerable industrial archaeological evidence for its existence.
The walk start car park is on the right of the picture (two cars in sight), on the left of the road just beyond the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge in the Hutton-le-Hole direction. Rosedale is on the left (Farndale is out of sight on the right).
The remains of the railway bridge at Blakey and the track bed heading west above Farndale.
Only works for ghost trains these days over the wild moorland!
A cold late Autumn day on the old mineral railway track above Rosedale
Across the middle of the picture you can just make out where the railway track ran.
Rather more plain to see on closer inspection!
Sheep and building ruins in the industrial archaeological landscape.
One of many sections of embankments.
The upper and lower levels railway track beds.
The walls of the giant kilns (ovens) used to roast the ore before transportation to the iron furnaces of Teesside and Middlesbrough by railway.
The stones of the kiln walls are red from the furnace chemistry. You can see the bed of the lower railway track at their foot.
Looking back north along the bed of the old mineral railway line you can climb up above the great iron-ore roasting kilns.
From the top of the south-east kilns you can see the upper and lower railway embankments on the east side of Rosedale.
Last shot of the kilns.
The ghostly remains of the mining buildings, like some ruinous medieval castle!, before heading along on the old railway 'path' round to Blakey Ridge and perhaps call in at the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, a pub that goes back to the 16th century.
Once an entrance arch to one of the mine tunnel and galleries
You can include the kilns-furnaces on a circular walk from Rosedale Abbey village and half-way round you can call at the Dale Head Farm tea garden for refreshments e.g. drinks and snacks - Yorkshire cakes teas and coffees. You can descend to from the old railway track on the north side of Rosedale.
A disused airshaft.
The ruinous remnants of mining buildings and loading staithes (loading bays) above Hill Cottages on the south-east side of Rosedale.
This ends the section east side of Rosedale.
You ascend the road up out of Rosedale Abbey to pick up the railway track to return to Blakey Ridge car park.
Near Rosedale Bank Top are the remains of the kilns (picture below) that roasted iron ore to drive off water and carbon dioxide gas to concentrate the iron-ore before transportation to the Teesside-Middlesbrough blast furnaces. The remains of the kilns are near the top of the 'Rosedale Chimney', a very steep road up from Rosedale Abbey.
I usually set off on the western side of Rosedale to go round in a clockwise direction and on the way you can see across to the iron-ore kilns (more on these see further up the page).
There are several old mine shafts close to the paths (ex old ironstone railway track) and look down into them - with great care! This one is from Sheriff's Pit (see more pictures below). These pictures (above and below) are from 2007.
... and more ruins of old mining buildings stand lonely and forlorn, again like the remains of a devastated medieval castle!
More recent pictures of the disused Sheriff's Pit (March 2011), the deep shaft is well fenced off (on the far right), and no wonder. Sheriff's Pit was a drift mine but the ironstone ore was lifted to the surface up this shaft, which is close to the west side railway line when it would have been taken to the calcing ovens at Rosedale Chimney Bank Top.
To the east of Sheriff's Pit, is a 'Pile of Stones' (marked on OS map at 703963) and further west down in Rosedale itself is the small hamlet of Thorgill which would have been a place the Rosedale ironstone miners lived in.
There is a 'memorial' to the miners of Rosedale.
The inscriptions on either side of the bench are ...
In the dark, working hard, loading up the wooden cart,
Work-shift over, in the sun, on the hill, having fun.
An appropriate way to end this page - a homage to all miners
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