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This is roughly how the original sculpture looked but the two rings were not identical
This is roughly how the original sculpture looked but the two rings were not identical

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Route No 19 - 13 November 2001
Newgate Bank, Baxton's Wood, Cowhouse Bank,
Roppa Wood, Rievaulx Bank circuit - 9 miles
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area at 1:25000


To-day my friend and I planned to walk a route at the northern end of Bilsdale and we left home at about 8.45am in bright sunshine with a cold breeze. The weather forcast was not very good and snow showers were expected by lunch time. By the time we reached the top of Newgate Bank on the road from Helmsley to Bilsdale we could see the low cloud and snow showers ahead.

Looking across Bilsdale to Easterside Hill from the leaving car park on Newgate Bank
Looking across Bilsdale to Easterside Hill from the leaving car park on Newgate Bank

The snow showers were blowing around the northern end of Bilsdale seven or eight miles ahead. We decided to change our plans and do a walk from Newgate Bank instead. We parked in the forest car park next to the view point and took the path from the view point through the woods with a lovely view first across the valley to Easterside hill and then as we walked round the end of the hill, a view up Bilsdale.

The remaining half of the sculpture at the topof Helmsley Bank
The remaining half of the sculpture at the top of Helmsley Bank . . .

After about half a mile we emerged from the woods onto the stone track around the edge of Rievaulx Moor. The snowclouds were still blowing around the end of Bilsdale and from time to time advanced towards us but we only had a very few flakes.

since our visit this remining half of the sculpture has also been removed
. . . since our visit this remining half of the sculpture has also been removed

Then the snow showers retreated across the moor again. We followed this track past the trig point above Helmsley Bank to the sculpture beside the track. There were originally two hoops but some enterprising vandal cut off one of them. There is a model of the full sculpture in the York art gallery.

Snow shower advancing down Bilsdale towards us
Snow shower advancing down Bilsdale towards us

From here the track is in the forest, mostly lodgepole pines and larch, so the views are lost but the forest is quite interesting itself. and after about 4 miles from our start we reached Cowhouse Bank. There were some seats overlooking East Moors and Pockley Moor where we stopped for a drink and to admire the view and the swirling snow showers in the distance. We followed the road down Cowhouse Bank for about a quarter of a mile to a forestry track on the left which took us back around the bottom of the escarpment we had just walked.

Enjoying the view from the seat on the edge of the car park at the top of Cow House Bank
Enjoying the view from the seat on the edge of the car park at the top of Cow House Bank

We stayed on this track through the forest for about a mile and a half to Roppa Wood. A large part of the wood was clear felled about a year ago and last time we were in this area we had lost our land marks and missed a path we had walked many times in the past, so to-day we had another look. We found the path and noted a few new landmarks for future reference. Then we sat in a sheltered spot in the heather for a drink and a sandwich before heading for the track up Reivaulx Bank and returning to the car park around the edge of Reivaulx Moor. The whole route was almost 9 miles and took us four and a quarter hours including stops

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