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18. Commondale (2) A circular walk via Hob on the Hill

The pictures illustrate the 1st part of Walk 58 "Hob on the Hill" from "Walks on the North York Moors" Book 2 by Jack Keighley

You can start the walk in the centre of Commondale Village.

See also Commondale (1) Scenes around the village * Commondale (3) Circular walk from Castleton

As you walk out up the Kildale/Stokesley road you pass one of the fine houses built of the characteristic Commondale red brick.

 

Having turned right of the road you head for the first stone trod or causeway near Whiteley Beck.

 

The first paved trod and heading up towards the war memorial after crossing the beck.

 

 

The First World War Memorial. Remembrance to Guardsmen Robbie Leggott killed in action 1916 and Alf Cockerill died of wounds on duty in 1914.

 

Looking down passed the war memorial back towards Commondale, Castleton and Westerdale. Finding the faint track up to Hob on the Hill isn't easy, but if you go to far along the track after the 1st WW1 memorial stone, don't worry, you can find a prehistoric stone alignment (see below) that takes you up to a bit to the left of the Hob on the Hill stone. This is worth looking out for on its own merit.

 

The boundary stone engraved 'S Hob on the Hill' stands in the middle of an excavated tumulus (bronze age burial mound). 'Hob' or 'Hobs' is frequently used in names and is derived from folklore witchcraft. A 'hob' was often described as a hairy ugly dwarf inhabiting moorland farms. OS grid ref. 646 124

The stone at Hob-on-the-Hill

On the reverse of the stone it is inscribed with RC 1798. The RC refers to Robert Chaloner Esq. Lord of the Manor.

The Hob on the Hill stone alignment

 

 

The late Bronze Age stone alignment below Hob on the Hill. You need to deviate ~ south-west from Hob on the Hill i.e. from the walk instructions, to view this marvellous stone and earthen bank boundary which is much more impressive than the orthostats above Westerdale.

The stones of the 'boundary wall, which are set in a low embankment, and one of the lower stones is engraved with a cross (detail below) - presumably to indicate 'now under new spiritual ownership' in medieval times!

 

Hob on the Hill is a fine picnic spot with wonderful 360o views. Looking south from Hob on the Hill towards Castleton Village, with Danby Dale beyond and Westerdale on the right.

 

Looking north from Hob on the Hill down to the sea.

 

Looking west from Hob on the Hill towards the Cleveland Hills.

 

From Hob on the Hill (OS grid ref. 646124) you initially head in the direction of the coast in a north-east direction to find a track which leads to a line of boundary stones that goes almost due north to Hob Cross.

... and at the bottom of the line of boundary stones (like the one above-right), on the left, just before the corner of a walled field, is Hob Cross.

 

En route you pass a boundary stone inscribed SK AWD 1844 and TC 1856/1866? before reaching Hob Cross.

Hob Cross has the initials RC (Robert Chaloner) and a date pf 1798 (same as Hob on the Hill). OS grid ref. 646 134

Hob Cross cuts an imposing figure on the landscape towards the North Sea coast and is about half way round the walk. OS grid ref. 646134

A recent offering below Hob Cross!

 

Redcar Steelworks and Teesmouth can be 'faintly' seen just right of centre.

 

Looking down the power lines towards the sea at Redcar. On the left is the plantation forest above Guisborough.

 

 

The paved stone trod of the Quakers Causeway cutting its away across the moors towards Guisborough. Packhorse trains carried goods along these 'pannier ways', so called because dozens of ponies at a time carried pairs of pannier packs balanced across each pony's back. This is one of the most impressive stone flagged ways on the North York Moors and the purple heather is on its way too!

 

Looking down from the stone trod onto Lockwood Beck Reservoir and the coastal scene beyond.

 

The green and striking Freebrough Hill (not man-made!) viewed from the stone trod near the road from Castleton to Lockwood Beck reservoir on the A171 road at OS grid ref. 671 117

 

Down the clear track from the Castleton road (at OS grid ref. 671117) the village of Commondale comes into sight nestling in the surrounding green fields of Commondale.

 

Finally, on the way back down to the centre of Commondale, you pass St Peter's Church, worth a call in.

 

Finally finish up in the Commondale Old Post Office Tea Rooms or The Cleveland Inn.

 

See also Commondale (1) Scenes around the village * Commondale (3) Circular walk from Castleton

 

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