Carter Family Sojourn 2004 travel blog

Mead House (forst one) Lealholm North york MoorsYorkshire

Mead House

A packsadlle bridge. North york Moors across Esk river


The group split again today. Bill walking, some on the steam train doing a hop on hop off trip, and a car full took the scenic route with a few doing the return trip on the steam train.

The standard road map wasn't the best for the moors, but we knew the parameteres so couldn't get lost, but potentially could do more wandering then intended.

On the way saw some pheasants and had a 'photo shoot' for Bevan. ALso saw some legal shooters, after grouse, not pheasants. It was the Grouse season so there was a large group of shooters and the 'beaters' the latter frightening the birds out of the heather. THe shooters looked just as they do in the movies. Dressed in long boots, puffy britches, jackets and caps. They had specially set up vans to hang the birds.

First stop a Roman encampment. Well there weren't any buildings, but the ground works were still visible. A guide book consulted after the event (a good way to do it!!) was very informative. Built in the first century it had at that time had a very open view across the moors. WE could see a long way but the trees around the camp were thicker now than they had been in the time of the Romans. The moats were designed so that they went over a straight side so were easy to jump into, with an ankle breaking ditch in the bottom. If thatt didn't happen, the other side was sloping so they scrambled up to be sitting ducks on the top, then had to go through another moat. On their return they could slide in, but climbing out of the straight side was extremely hard, so again they were targets.

There are Roman roads over the moors, along with the milage posts (stone) that we still use today, though in less permanent form. Later users of the roads were monks walking from the Abbey at Whitby to take 'the word' into villages of the area. Some of their markers, large carved crosses, placed on the top of the hills on their path, are still there too. THen to add to the travellers of the moors were the smugglers, who used the old roads to get their stuff inland from Robins Hood Bay and other coastal villages.

Then to the main Mead village (the one they lived in at departure, and where there parents and younger siblings remained.) Lealholm, pronounced Lelum.

First morning tea at the local Pub (have you oticed how often food gets a mention??) THen with a few directions from the locals from the information I could remember about the house and its surroundings (couldn't remember how I'd actually got to the house 12 years ago!) we found the area and then I found the house. Its 152 years since THomas and Henry left it. Last time I saw it it seemed in good condition. THis time it looked like Steptoe and Son had set up in the house! While the garden was neat, there was building materials and junk all around the fence and in the backyard. (which I have neatly cropped off the photo!!)

THen onto Beggars bridge. Looks like other packsaddle bridges in the area (wide enough for a donkey with loaded panniers on each side to pass easily over), but it had a story. Built by a rick merchant (or smuggler??) who had left his girl friend behind when he went off as a poor man to make his fortune. She put a light in the window every night, but he took so long to come back that eventually she married another. He built the bridge to make returns somewhat quicker for others??



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