Pool in Wharfedale & Arthington

The river Wharfe in Spring looking from Castley to Pool In Wharfedale

Crossing the Lower Wharfe since the doomsday book times in 1086 has been no mean feat despite fords at Knots Ford and probably Pool where the bridge now stands. Pool bridge was built in 1793 and widened in 1815 and it seems there have been road works there ever since. The volume of water after rain in the dales is massive and has led to flooding many times in near by Castley. Over the years the volume of water must be staggering. This water has been the core of industry at Pool in Wharfedale since the reformation. The original wool mill dated 1673 was swept away with Pool Low Fulling Mill and two bridges. Paper mills (that use lots of water) were built in the 18th century and this trade has been carried on by the Whiteley family and others ever since. A Flour mill was also operated along side the river but the village was located 200 yards away for fear of flooding.

A mile to the east of Pool in Wharfedale on the south side of Wharfedale lies Arthington where records of the Priory go back to 1271 and the then prioress, Sara. Other Cluniac nuns in charge included Maud de Kesewik died 1299, Agnes de Pontefract 1302, Isabella de Berghby 1311 (demoted after leaving from the priory without permission), Sibil Plesyngton 1437, Marjorie Craven 1463, Alice Hall 1496 and Elizabeth Hall 1532. The Priory was surrendered in 1540 to Thomas Cranmer. more history
Staircase Lane running from Bramhope through Arthington to Pool is the place of a ghost story based on a wager with a member of the Dyneley family. Whilst galloping his horse down the staircase he was thrown and killed. The ghostly hooves can still be heard today!

The roads of Old Pool Bank and Pool Bank up to the Dyneley Arms have been the cause of many over-heated car engines and traffic jams as vehicles climbed out of the valley up to Yeadon Airport. These are the main roads between Bradford and Harrogate with other Wharfe crossings at Otley and Harewood. In the village near St Wilfrids church there was a blacksmith and wooden stocks whilst in Arthington there were kilns and forges. There are a couple of pubs, an active village hall and local cricket and football teams.

One of the big annual events approaching Christmas time is the visit of Santa Clause helped by gnomes from Otley Lions on the sleigh.



Heather and Gorse In Yorkshire

Moorland Heather

The North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire’s great moorlands are beautiful landscapes. They teem with flowering heather at the height of summer.
Bounded by Saltburn , Middlesbrough, Stokesley, Thirsk, Malton and finally back to the sea at Scarborough, check out the wonders of North York Moors National Park.

Ideal for walking or roaming, the moors have 1400 miles of paths and tracks to explore. Too many waymarks and signs can be intrusive so Park authorities claim to ‘try to use them sparingly, especially on open moorland where posts can spoil the very quality of remoteness and isolation which visitors cherish.’

The Ordnance Survey Explorer maps for North Yorkshire Moor areas are updated every 3 years including new bridleways. path diversions and field boundaries; SHEET OL26 covers the western half of the National Park and SHEET OL27 the eastern half.


Gorse tends to grow in dry scrubby soil and we do not have as many of those conditions in Yorkshire. However there are many spots where you can see this wild shrub in flower during winter.
Gorse often features on the slopping edge of moorland and roadside locations near our many reservoirs.
There is also a cliff top patch at Primrose Valley to scratch and spear the unwary who venture too close to the Gorse.

Ground cover March Heather

Heather looks good in garden situations and is a very popular form of ground cover.
This patch was spotted at Golden Acre Park near Leeds. They have a large heather collection and special area on the Bramhope side of the garden.
Other features at Golden Acre include Limestone and Sandstone Rock Gardens, Heather, Bog and Late Season borders but is most famous locally for the large pond and wild fowl that children love to feed.

Download North Yorkshire National Park Brochure pdf
Read more about Gorse


Yorkshire Pudding International Cuisine

Yorkshire Puddings with Altitude

Over the top and out of the tin – very light!

Yorkshire Pudding

A squeeze to get it on to the plate.

Yorkshire Pudding

‘First Attempt’ but needs to keep practicing- what have you been eating until now Rhiannon?

The best Yorkshire pudding ever
‘The best Yorkshire pudding ever’ – Where did this title come from?  France obviously.  A Yorkshire sounding chef Jean-François Chénier, Mmmm tasty.

Yorkshire pudding


Done to a fine turn by Oriental fortune cookie.

Toad in the Hole

Toad in The Hole is cheating but Su-Lin’s dish looked so good it was worth including.

Sources Flickr creative Commons
4. rhiannonstone
5.Jean-François Chénier
More photos
to get your saliva glands working overtime

You can’t have too many Yorkshire Puddings


Grotesques at Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral

In the 7th century, St Wilfrid built one of England’s first stone churches in Ripon.
It is hard to show the glory of one of Yorkshires great cathedrals with just photographs so I advocate a trip to Ripon to see or reacquaint yourself with this historic place.

Whilst in Ripon reread the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland which was allegedly inspired by the medieval woodcarvings that decorate the choir stalls in the Cathedral.

Americans take note of the Stars & Stripes in the stained glass windows which were part of the coat of arms of the Washington family.

Is it a Gargoyle or a Grotesques? Well gargoyles are scary and often winged monsters carved in stone which perch on the roofs of cathedrals and serve as water spouts.
Grotesques are ugly faces or monsters carved in stone, placed as decoration on pillars and corbels on the interior of a church. They may have been a warning that evil is never far away or just the stone masons showing off their skills.

The font has a lid with a lock so that people could not steal the holy water it contained and use it for sorcery.

All the above and a place of worship for over 1330 years.
There is a lot more to see and learn at the Cathedral so it makes a central and essential focus for a trip to Ripon. Enjoy.

Ripon 022


Settle For a Couple of Hours

Settle back alley

A while back enroute to the football match Morecambe (0) v Bradford City(1) I stopped in Settle for a couple of hours. You can park in the market square free for that long if you are fortunate enough to find a spot.

I spent 30 minutes snapping away with my camera and learning more about the town. It is a long time since I stayed overnight in Settle but with excellent walking in the surrounding area that is something I will put right this year. I bought two more footpath maps and trails from a quick visit to the Tourist information.

Settle Book Shop

I like to visit the secondhand bookshop on the corner of Cheapside. This time I came away with 5 books for £3 and was very pleased until I realised I need to find time to read them all.



I had forgotten that the founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was a Settle man. A stone in tribute to Rev Benjamin Waugh is incorporated into the wall of Lloyds Bank.
In 1881 Liverpool Mercury published a letter that highlighted the problem of child cruelty “…whilst we have a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, can we not do something to prevent cruelty to children?”
Lord Shaftesbury an early reformer advised the Reverend “The evils you state are enormous and indisputable, but they are of so private, internal and domestic a nature as to be beyond the reach of legislation.” Between then they formed a pressure group to focus attention on the issue and by 1889 the Society had 32 branches throughout the UK. Each branch raised funds to support an inspector, who investigated reports of child abuse and neglect.

See Yorkshire Roots of NSPCC and History of the NSPCCpdf

Settle Naked Man

Just enough time was left for two bacon and egg butties from the Naked Man Cafe, Mmm excellent.
I used to regularly use the ‘Settle Down’ caff when that was a TV comedians catch phrase. Now what was he called?

Watching the many buses go through the town made me realise what a good location for walkers and tourist Settle was. See Dales Bus brand or web site
Sadly not enough time to visit Victoria Cave but worth coming back for another visit soon.


Clever Little Tit or Bird Brain

I had fallen into the trap of calling various birds ‘Tits’ but I now remember they were really Titmice or a titmouse

Book Cover

The Wisdom of Birds: An Illustrated History of Ornithology

Tim R. Birkhead is professor of behavioural ecology at Sheffield University.
He has three main research areas:

1. Post-copulatory sexual selection, mainly in birds.
2. Population biology of birds.
3. The history of science, and of reproduction and ornithology in particular.

With this book he has produced a complete history of ornithology. The illustrations, prints and pictures are illuminating and there seems to be a reference to every bird you could imagine. Good value for money in terms of size, scope and content.

Reviews of The Wisdom of Birds

‘I speculated as to the origins of another science, ornithology, hazarding that it similarly was based upon a wealth of local knowledge brought together and systemised by the protoscientists of the day, or savants, as Rudwick calls them. Tim Birkhead, in The Wisdom Of Birds, appears to confirm this premise.
Using as his starting point the 16th Century ornithologist John Ray, Birkhead describes how ornithology developed from folklore and superstition into a coherent science. Ray’s own book, The Wisdom Of God, provides Birkhead’s title, although it is knowledge rather than wisdom which is shown accumulating. As with the sciences dealt with by Rudwick, some knowledge originates from the museum, some from commerce (poultry farmers and hunters), some from what we may call hobbyists (bird keepers) and, eventually, from savants in the field, and like the early geologists, such ornithologists were considered strange birds indeed at first. …….

Throughout the work Birkhead has found some beautiful pictures to illustrate his point, although this is also one of a number of sources of frustration, as often there is very little advantage taken of them, or explanatory comment, as for example where a picture appears of a bird looking remarkably like a Northern Cardinal but labelled in its 17th Century setting as a Virginian Nightingale, with no covering narrative, including why this North American bird should appear on a page accompanied by five European birds (four finches and a sparrow)……. the result is still an excellent book.’
Steven Keen Review

‘….Tim Birkhead is an academic who can communicate brilliantly with the ordinary reader. From bird intelligence, migration, physiology to reproduction, the author covers a wide range of material……
Ashton 455

‘….The range of issues covers subjects such as egg development, instinct and intelligence, migration, the influence of daylight on the breeding cycle, territoriality, vocalisations, sexual differentiation, infidelity, reproduction and longevity…focused on the individuals behind the development of ornithology while Tim Birkhead is more interested in what they discovered. ‘
K F Betton

A Fellow of the Royal Society and Professor at Department of Animal and Plant Sciences Sheffield University Tim Birkhead has produced a brainy book on birds and those who have studied them as you would expect from an academic. However he has also been very clever in making it accessible to all ornithologists. (ed.)

Sheffield University Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Review by Steven Keen
K F Betton and Ashton 455 on amazon
Daily Telegraph Book Review

Yorkshires top Twelve Birdwatching Sites
Midhope Moor and Langsett reservoir


Adelphi Window Reflections on a Meal Deal

Adelphi leeds boozer

If you are eating a steak from a horse that had a very long neck and a small head ‘You’re Avin’ A Giraffe’

The Adelphi Leeds is tucked away at the bottom of Leeds City Centre just over the Leeds Bridge.
A fine example of Victorian sumptuousness, the Adelphi is both everybody’s ‘local’ and one of Leeds’ best kept secrets. Two Yorkshire meals and a bottle of wine for £25 seems just about OK but the menu has foreign food like Cumberland sausage, West Country Beef burger and Cornish Brie & Leek tart.

The Adelphi Comedy Club brings you some of the country’s top stand-ups. So I would not be wanted then? Mondays have never been so much fun the landlord says but he is so busy serving good beer that he has no time to listen.

Join the Adelphi club for a cheap meal deal voucher

Back a few years there was an Adelphi club in Hull. I wonder if anyone knows what has happened to it?

Adelphi’s neighbor was my solicitors with a sign that says ‘ Godloves Solicitors’ hmph. They supplied some of the Adelphi’s drinking customers and were the butt of many jokes.

‘Yorkshire solicitor takes his cat to the vet.
Yorkshireman: Ayup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat.
Vet: Is it a tom?
Yorkshireman: Nay, I’ve browt it with us.’


Three Yorkshire Castles

cliffords tower

Clifford Tower York Castle

York has had a castle since 1068 and some parts of the complex can be studied at the Castle museum.
In March 1190 there was a massacre when 150 local Jews died in Clifford Tower the then castle keep. The timber keep of York Castle was badly burned and damaged in the massacre. Henry III rebuilt the castle in stone and raised to its present height in the middle of the 13th century. This created a keep with a unique quatrefoil design.
During an excavation in 1902-03 a number of charred timbers were found some 12 feet below the surface of the mound.
The ruin of Clifford’s Tower are now a well-known tourist destination and the site which is owned by English Heritage is open to the public.

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle has been in the land owning Ingilby family for over 700 years. Now-a-days the Castle is used for many commercial ventures including weddings and fairs. The Castle, Deer Park and lake are supplemented by a fine walled garden and the near-by Boars Head gastro pub.
There is much more detailed information on the Ingilby history website

Gateway into Skipton Castle
Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle is one of the UK’s best preserved medieval castles that still retains its own roof. The Tudor courtyard behind the stout towers of the gatehouse leads to the original the watchtower probably the most important feature of the castle’s defences.
‘The history of the castle is inseparable from that of the Clifford family who were granted the property by Edward II in 1310, when Robert Clifford was appointed first Lord Clifford of Skipton’ more and 3D plan.

Book Cover

York Castle work by Tungsten92 is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Ripley Castle is by RedRoseVicar, on Flickr
Skipton Castle Teresakayeps on Flickr


Quarry Hill Flat Flats

Quarryhill flats will remain in the memory of many Leeds folk as will their unseemly demise. Leeds had it’s share of squalor and slum housing after the World War in the 1920’s.

Rev Charles Jenkinson a friend of the ‘Red Vicar’ Conrad Noel stood as a labour candidate for Leeds Council. After election he produce a paper on slum clearance that ultimately led to the building of the Quarry Hill Flats. The Director of Housing R A Livett and Rev Jenkinson visited France and Vienna in 1934 to inspect municipal tenement complexes (workers flats)  including the massive Karl Marx Hof. Then building at Quarry Hill commenced based on a plan for 5000 flats.

They were built on a quick,  structural system of pre-cast ferro-concrete cladding, mounted on steel frames. They needed less skilled labour and post war this was seen as a positive aspect of the development.  By 1941 the flats provided accommodation for 3,280 people.

Social Dimension

  • The development housed shops, apartments, laundries and a range of communal facilities.
  • Only 40% of the area was built on the balance was for roads and communal space.
  • Old communities from those displaced by demolition were not all keen to live in the new ‘tenements’
  • Lifts and and a chute based waste disposal system were included although the later was a bit of a failure.
  • Many flats were filled with none local residents including overseas visitors.
  • Oral history in Leeds has a series of commentaries and personal histories that are evocative of the era. link

1. ‘……York Road to get the bus into town and, of course, everywhere you walked, the flats were just there on the skyline; massive, often looking a bit austere. I always remember them as being off white and grey, and our parents telling us that… that inside the flats was full of nasty people…’

Steve Farley 1 by The Oral History CompanyThe Oral History Company

Quarry Hill Problems

  • The second World War interrupted the development.
  • Public policy was not clearly implemented or failed. Support for tenants was poor or none existant
  • The new build techniques were very expensive to maintain and repair.
  • Rusting below ground was a serious threat and the buildings life expectancy had been dramatically over estimated.
  • Black spots, vandalism and intimidation developed within the estate. The site was ghettoised.
  • The lifts worked but the revolutionary waste disposal system was an expensive failure.
  • Despite the working class public spirit and demands for action the council failed to tackle and solve the issues.

What Happened Next

  • In 1972 four options were put to council none included full renovation and retention.
  • The flats were demolished between 1975 and 1978. see picture above
  • Karl Marx Hof has been refurbished and maintained. It is still the longest residential building at 0.68 of a mile long.

Karl-Marx-Hof (Vienne)
This is how Quarry Hill should look like today! (thanks Karl-Marx-Hof (Vienne) by dalbera CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


1. Quarry Hill Flats, Leeds, Yorkshire (Dr Neil Clifton) / CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Quarry Hill Flats, Leeds during demolition. (Alan Longbottom) / CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Oral History of Quarry Hill

4. ‘Memento Mori – The Flats at Quarry Hill Leeds’ by Peter Mitchell

5. Housing Market.org


See Where You Are Walking



The views over towards Leeds Bradford Airport from East Carlton have clear unrestricted sight of the airport. Not at all built up considering such a commuter location. Carlton Lane has more than 10 reflectors at farm gates and house drives but the road is still dicey.

On my recent walk from York Gate  and the Royalty pub through bridleways to East Carlton the only businesses I saw were Equestrian based. There were livery stables and numerous horses and ponies in the fields.

watch your step


Step right this way! Well not actually as this wasn’t a right of way as I found out. Only a posh entry into a farmers field on Guiseley Moor.

The views from Moor Lane catch Rombolds Moor in the distance, the edge of Guiseley and look over Yeadon Tarn.

The track up past the reflected house leads to a near-by stone quarry. This is still worked by R&G as Moor Top Quarry and a nice buttery coloured sandstone they produce.

Eye spy


The family enjoying a winter walk in the sunshine at Rylstone. There is a fine church and tracks  called ‘Mucky Lane’, ‘Crutching Close’, ‘Chapel Lane’ and ‘Bark Brow’.

Unfortunately, try as hard as I could, I could not see any undressed women from the famous Calendar Girls. Their stage show runs  in Leeds until 19th March and visits Hull   6-11 June and Sheffield  11-23 July 2011. Keep up the good work for Leukemia and our endorphins!


Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

drupal stats