Skipton Facts Updated for 2018

Sheer bliss

A History of Skipton

  • Skipton is Anglo Saxon for Sheep Town. There is still a Sheep Street and an aptly named pub on it called The Wooly Sheep Inn.
  • Full sized, ornamental, painted sheep are used to promote events around the town. Sheep day is held on the last Sunday in July.
  • Skipton Castle is a well preserved Norman castle built around 1090 and given to the Clifford family in 1310. (That is the year not the time on a 24 hour clock)
  • The castle was a Royalist stronghold until falling to Oliver Cromwell in 1645. It and the Clifford family took an active part in the War of the Roses.

Craven District

Not only is Skipton the self appointed ‘Gateway to the Dales’ but is the administrative center of |Craven District Council. They are looking for the public’s favourite object from a list of seven

  1. A Bronze Age jet earring
  2. A Roman amethyst intaglio
  3. Medieval floor tiles from Bolton Abbey
  4. Ribblesdale peat spade
  5. Timothy Crowther’s ‘Spell book’
  6. Richard Ryley’s Diary
  7. Dr Rowley’s research notes

Continue reading Skipton Facts Updated for 2018

7 Quirky Yorkshire Places to Visit

As Monty Python had it what have the Romans ever done for us? ‘All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?’ Reg must have been a Yorkshireman in the ‘Life of Brian’.

York Cold War Nuclear Bunker

  1. York Cold War Bunker is the most modern and spine chilling of English Heritage’s properties. The York Cold War Bunker in Acomb York uncovers the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. read more
  2. Stanwick Iron Age Fortifications in Forcett North Yorkshire exposes an excavated section, part cut into rock, of the ramparts of the huge Iron Age trading and power-centre of the  most important tribe in pre- Roman northern Britain the Brigantes. Some 4 miles long, the defences enclosed an area of 766 acres. Following the Roman conquest the Brigantian centre moved to Aldborough the Roman Site (also worth a visit at Boroughbridge YO51 9ES ).
  3. Piercebridge Roman Bridge’s stonework foundations are now marooned in a field. The bridge once led to Piercebridge Roman Fort.
  4. Wheeldale Roman Road A mile-long stretch of enigmatic ancient road amid wild and beautiful moorland, still with its hard core and drainage ditches.
  5. Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village is the most famous and intensively studied of Britain’s 3,000 or so deserted medieval villages. Wharram Percy occupies a remote but attractive site in a beautiful Wolds valley.
  6. Burton Agnes Manor House A medieval manor house interior, with a rare and well preserved Norman undercroft and a 15th-century roof, all encased in brick during the 17th and 18th centuries.
  7. View artworks held by the National Trust and discover tales and 18th-century architecture on a visit to Maister House in Hull. Visit during Hull’s UK City of Culture year.

7 Yorkshire Castles to Visit

Image result for cliffords tower gods own county

We are not a warring race but Yorkshire folk have always defended their territory. Here is a selection of castles from former glory days that are now visitor attractions worth your time exploring.

  1. With its 3,000 year history, stunning location and panoramic views over the Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough Castle is one of the finest tourist attractions in the North.
  2. Skipsey Castle is an impressive Norman motte and bailey castle dating from before 1086 and among the first raised in Yorkshire. Earthworks were used to create a fortified ‘borough’.
  3. The castle is not the oldest part of Conisbrough as St Peters Church is the oldest building in South Yorkshire dating from AD 650-700. However by the time of the Norman conquest the manor was held by King Harold. In the 16th century the castle suffered neglect and eventually became a ruin but now happily benefits from some restoration. In the view of many Conisbrough Castle is unique.
  4. Unlock 900 years of life at Helmsley Castle, an essential site for any visitor to the market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park.
  5. Middleham Castle is a fascinating place to visit in the Yorkshire Dales. Once the childhood home of Richard III you can relive the Castle’s illustrious history and unlock the deeds of its great owners. ‘My horse my horse a kingdom for a horse’ by William Shakespeare Richard III – appropriate for Middleham with it’s racing stables.
  6. Spofforth Castle is a ruined hall and chamber of a fortified manor house of the powerful Percy family, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries. Its undercroft is cut into a rocky outcrop.
  7. Richmond Castle has breathtaking views of the Yorkshire dales on the coast to coast path. Richmond Castle is one of the finest tourist attractions in North Yorkshire.
  8. From Clifford’s Tower the stunning view you get of the historic city of York that makes Clifford’s Tower one of the most popular attractions in Yorkshire. Some gory stories are told on York ghost walks.

Contribution from English Heritage – keeper of all these castles and many other prominent Yorkshire sites.



7 Outdoor National Trust Yorkshire Sites to Visit

The National Trust (NT) looks after more than Old Buildings. In its care it includes moor and coast, farm land and country estates many of the best of which are in Yorkshire. Get a dose of good fresh Yorkshire air at one of these seven.

    1. Malham Tarn Estate is a National Trust property in North Yorkshire, England. The estate is located in the Pennines and lies between Wharfedale and Ribblesdale. It covers 2,900 hectares and includes around 65 hectares of woodland
    2. Hardcastle Crags is a wooded Pennine valley in West Yorkshire. At Gibson Mill you’ll find the National Trust Weaving Shed Café serving delicious ethical and locally produced food.
    3. The Pennine Way goes 270 miles from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. The route goes through the NT Marsden Moor Estate, down the Wessenden Valley and across Black Moss and then along Millstone Edge. Try it using Nordic walking
    4. ‘Brimham Rocks’ and so does the rest of Yorkshire! But as you may know Brimham’s varied and dramatic natural landscape makes it the most diverse landscape in Yorkshire for climbing.
    5. For the coast try The Old Coastguard Station  in the NT centre at the edge of the sea in Robin Hood’s Bay. The  village will help you discover what makes this part of the Yorkshire Coast so special. Hands-on models and fascinating displays tell the story of the area’s distinctive geology and the impact of the elements, local wildlife and the secret history of smuggling.
    6. The National Trust offer lots of footpaths for you to explore at Hudswell Woods, near Richmond. Either  wander along the river or be a little more adventurous and head into the woodlands.
    7. Rievaulx Abbey is an English Heritage site but the NT maintains one of Yorkshire’s finest 18th-century landscape gardens at Rievaulx Terrace. It containing two temples to explore including the lavish interior of the Ionic Temple and you can discover how the rich society of Georgian era spent their time

Seven or More Yorkshire Cathedrals and Minsters

Top Cathedrals for age and Architecture

1.York Minster Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter is the Mother church of the Province of York AD 627.

2. Ripon Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid AD 655.

Parish and modern Cathedrals

3. Bradford Cathedral Church of St Peter 15th century

4. Leeds Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Anne

5. Wakefield Cathedral Church of All Saints consecrated AD 1329

6. Sheffield Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul  + like Liverpool with a second cathedral the 7. Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Marie

8. Middlesbrough  Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic originally Cathedral Church of Our Lady Of Perpetual Succour

Minster Churches not Cathedrals?

  1. Beverley Minster Parish church of St John and St Martin
  2. Dewsbury Minster All Saints Church
  3. Marsden St Bartholomew’s church
  4. Halifax Minster West Riding
  5. Howden Minster was owned by monks from Peterborough Abbey in Saxon times
  6. Leeds Minster and Parish Church of Saint Peter-at-Leeds
  7. All Saints Church, Rotherham, also known as Rotherham Minster,
  8. Doncaster Church of St George, Doncaster, also known as Doncaster Minster.

Significant or Greater Churches Network

Southwell Cathedral and Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary prior to the dissolution of 1539  was a Minster in the diocese of York.

  • Bolton Abbey
  • Bridlington Priory
  • St Peter’s Church, Harrogate
  • Holy Trinity Church, Hull newly promoted to a Minster church on 13th May 2017
  • Selby Abbey

The greater church network aims to help former monastic properties and others  large parish churches built at a time of great wealth. They have common problems of financing facilities for a large number of visitors and the specialist maintenance and repair of old or large buildings.

Fascinating Facts about Yorkshires Newest Minster

  • Holy Trinity Church,Hull needed a £4.5m renovation  and the Archbishop Dr John Sentamu revealed it would become Hull Minster if the funds could be raised.
  • The largest parish church in England was newly promoted to a Minster church on 13th May 2017
  • Holy Trinity’s  mother church is All Saints in Hessle just up river.
  • The church was built in the 1300s, after King Edward I granted the former settlement  a Royal Charter for Kings Town upon Hull
  • It is the oldest brick-built building in the country still in use foor it’s original purpose.
  • Anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was baptised at the church
  • The church now houses beer festivals and other activities to help raise the funds for refurbishment.
  • During World War One, the church was bombed and damage by fire and in  World War Two it became a  flight marker for the German aircraft looking to bomb the docks and city.


7 Man Made Wonders of Yorkshire – Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead boys (Gherkin, Wimsey, Wonky and Pickle)

Ribblehead is somewhat remote boasting only a railway station a few houses and The Station Inn. The teddybears may have a bit of a wait before they can start their picnic.
Located at the head of the River Ribble, the viaduct is firmly located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the hearts of many railway enthusiasts.

Ribblehead Viaduct and Weather

Ribblehead Viaduct Sunset
The Ribblehead Viaduct at sunset and behind it to the right Whernside one of the three peaks and the highest point in Yorkshire. It looks like it has been drizzling for a shortwhile but the puddles should dry up by September before it starts to rain.
A light dusting of snow can be expected in May and June but for real snow you need to visit in February or any month with an R in the name. Continue reading 7 Man Made Wonders of Yorkshire – Ribblehead Viaduct

Yorkshire’s Shard or Emley Moor

Emley Moor transmitting station near Huddersfield is still the UK’s tallest structure in Yorkshire at 1083 feet 330.5 metres for those who have been metricated (Ouch)! It beats Bilsdale mast Helmsley by 54 feet and is 4th in our overall UK communication masts.

Drax power station near Selby is a massive 850 feet, not bad for a chimney.
The Shard is (only) 1016 feet tall but is the highest occupied commercial building in Europe. The Shard has 96 stories but Emley Moor broadcasts this many more stories every day.
Canary Wharf and One Canada Square is now dwarfed into third place at a meager 770 feet.
Shard London Bridge

Emley Moor Transmitting Station

The original 443 ft (135-metre) lattice tower was erected in 1956 to provide television broadcasts for Granada and ABC TV to the Yorkshire area. Most of Yorkshire is still covered by Emley Moor transmissions of radio and TV.

In 1964 the original mast was replaced by a taller ‘guyed mast’ that was a massive 1,265 ft tall.

On 19 March 1969 a combination of strong winds, vibrations and the weight of ice that had formed around the top of the mast and on the guy wires brought the structure down.

It was replaced by a new structure consists of a curved pillar 903 feet tall, constructed of reinforced concrete topped by a 180 feet of steel lattice mast which carries the antennae.

See the web site the Fall and Rise of Emley Moor for more pictures, memories and information.

Emley Moor Mast

Also See 7




Dry Stone Walls

Ruined Abbeys

All the posts on seven Wonders of Yorkshire

Photo credits
Shard London Bridge by Dave Catchpole CC BY 2.0 ‘Shard London Bridge or The Shard (formerly known as London Bridge Tower or the Shard of Glass) is a skyscraper in Southwark, London. Standing almost 310 metres (1,020 ft) tall, it is currently the tallest building in the EU. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the UK, after the 330-metre (1,083 ft) concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.
The Shard replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office building constructed on the site in 1975. Renzo Piano, the Shard’s architect, worked with the architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage. The tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck – the UK’s highest – on the 72nd floor. It was designed with an irregular pyramidal shape from the base to the top, and is clad entirely in glass. Shard London Bridge’s structure was completed in April 2012, and it will open to the public on 5 July 2012.’

Emley Moor Mast by ahisgett CC BY 2.0 ‘The TV mast is the tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom, but it isn’t as tall as the mast that it replaced in 1969.
I remember when that mast collapsed on the 19th March 1969, because of ice and high wind. We rode up to Emley Moor on our bikes the day after to see where the falling cables had cut right through the local church and felled several large trees.’


Wonderful but Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire

What did Henry VIII ever do for Yorkshire’s Abbeys?
In our series of seven man made wonders of Yorkshire our great Abbeys did not always get full recognition. This goes some way to highlight the 12th Century and subsequent buildings that Yorkshire now proudly displays as tourist attractions with added tudor history!

Fountain Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Walking through the landscaped Georgian water garden of Studley Royal, complete with neo-classical statues, follies and breathtaking views the magnificent 12th-century abbey ruins will enrapture the first time visitor.
A dispute and riot at St Mary’s Abbey in York during the late 11th century led to the founding of Fountains Abbey by the River Skell in 1132. After pleading unsuccessfully to return to the early 6th century Rule of St Benedict, 13 monks were exiled and taken into the protection of Thurstan, Archbishop of York and the austere Cistercian Order.

Other features to include on your visit to this World Heritage site include Victorian St Mary’s church and the Reading Room in Elizabethan Fountains Hall. Studely park has picnic facilities and herds of deer to watch in this idylic environment.
For more on the seven man made wonder that is Fountains Abbey

Byland Abbey
Byland Abbey
Byland Abbey was one of the greatest monasteries in England and it inspired the design of church buildings throughout the North of England. The early gothic architecture, particularly the west front, with its ruined great rose window, inspired the design of the famous York Minster rose window.

Thw abbey is situated in a quiet spot between Thirsk and Helmsley. There is now a museum that displays colourful visitor information panels together with archaeological finds from the site. Continue reading Wonderful but Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire

Maritime Hull – Man Made Wonder of Yorkshire

Maritime activity around Hull and the Humber estuary combine to produce one of our seven man made wonders of the county. It is no wonder that Hull is the European city of culture 2017. The fishing industry, the docks and boat building are all human endeavors worthy of inclusion in our list. So we have combined them to form just one of our seven wonders.

Hull Maritime Museum
The maritime museum contains many man made artifacts of Hulls links to the sea. Even the Victorian building itself has round windows reminiscent of portholes or gun holes up near the roof.

old hessle docks
The great fishing industry was built by man and decimated by Iceland and the European Community. There are still many mementos of this great industry and a lot of cod and haddock delivered to some of my favourite fish and chip shops.

Hull Barrier

When you take a large ferry out of King George dock to the continent you must go through a sea lock that demonstrates the power and majesty of water coupled with the ingenuity of man. The large and weighty car ferries have only inches clearance at either side of the lock but these massive ships are lifted and lowered by the water with seemingly little effort.

The Deep

Tourism linked to the maritime past is now a growth industry for Hull. The Deep is very attractive as a spectacular marine aquariums. To see 3500 fish just go over the footbridge from Hull Marina. (Sorry fish are not man made until they are fried).

Boston Wayfarer LT508 Sidetrawl at Hull / Hessle c.1965

This fishing boat was built as a side trawler about 50 years ago. It is probably still in use in Africa were it was fishing in 2008.

Also See 7




Dry Stone Walls

Ruined Abbeys

All the posts on seven Wonders of Yorkshire

Photo Credits
Hull Maritime Museum by Phil Beard CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
old hessle docks by leondz CC BY-ND 2.0
Hull Barrier by Neil T CC BY-SA 2.0 ‘Another view of the Hull Barrier. It’s a huge structure because tall ships have to pass under it – most of the bridges on the river either swing open or lift up to allow them through’
The Deep by drgillybean CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Boston Wayfarer LT508 Sidetrawl at Hull / Hessle c.1965 by Sheffield Tiger CC BY 2.0 ‘Boston Wayfarer at Hull. Built 1965 at Hessle for W.H.Kerr & Co Bostons,she was sold in 1981 to South Africa and reregistered L404, according to reports was still fishing in 2008’


Salts Mill Seven Man Made Wonders in Yorkshire

For another in our series of the ‘7 man made wonders of Yorkshire’ we float between the river Aire and the Leeds Liverpool canal. Beside the River Aire is one half of the enormous edifice of Salt’s Mill at Saltaire and 100 yards away across the Leeds Liverpool canal sits the other more significant half of the former Victorian Mill.


Facts about the Old Salts Mill

It was built in 1853 by Titus Salt hence the name! It formed part of a groundbreaking model village which included houses, churches, meeting halls and other community buildings but no public houses or licensed premises. Titus Salt and his Mill provided better working conditions for mill employees than most other textile factories and he was an exemplar of the paternal Victorian mill owner.

When it was first built it was Europe’s largest factory employing 3000 workers. One of its largest rooms was on the sixth floor and it even has stone flagged flooring. Measuring 600 feet in length, the room, known as The Shed, was where hundreds of workers turned out miles of cloth each day on large weaving machines.

Modern Uses of Salts Mill

The Mill by the river was converted into a large office block for NHS North Bradford Primary Care Trust marketing and administration – well why use a hospital as a base.

After the textile industry declined the Mill became redundant by the 1980s. Pace electronics built a good electronics business in the mill at Saltaire. The largest part of the mill complex was bought by the late Jonathan Silver and his vision saw it transform into a cultural and commercial complex. There are several shopping zones and even a place for Early Musical instruments but the major coup was setting up the 1853 Gallery and capturing the work and imaginbation in the David Hockney Gallery.

Aire I saw elba

Also See 7




Dry Stone Walls

Ruined Abbeys

All the posts on seven Wonders of Yorkshire

Saltaire by alexliivet CC BY 2.0
Saltaire Village
Welcome to Saltaire BD18
David Hockney Bradford Tree Painter