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Hole of Horcum from map ref. SE 845940
Hole of Horcum from map ref. SE 845940

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Route No. 115 - Tuesday 23 November 2004
Levisham, Dundale Pond, Saltergate,
Skelton Tower circuit - 10km
North York Moors . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors, Eastern area at 1:25000
Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base

View from Rita Grantham's memorial seat
View from Rita Grantham's memorial seat

I set off at about 11.00am following the path straight up the hill past Rita Grantham's memorial seat to the hill top and then about 400m to Dundale Pond. The little plaque there says "This small valley was given to the monks of Malton Priory in about 1230 as pasture for their sheep, cattle and horses. Dundale Pond was probably made at this time as a place for stock to drink." From Dundale Pond I followed the stony track along the ridge to Seavy Pond at map ref. SE 833934

It was a dreary, grey, drizzly morning and my usual walking companions were both engaged with grandparent baby siting duties. My wife was at work so I decided to have a walk on my own anyway. I drove to Levisham, just off the Pickering to Whitby road and parked off the unfenced lane between Levisham and Levisham Station at map ref.SE 820915.

Windswep treeline looking towards Levisham
Windswep treeline looking towards Levisham
Dundale Pond at map ref. SE 828918
Dundale Pond at map ref. SE 828918

From the Whitby road I took the path down the steep slope onto the plateau at map ref. SE 847943 and followed the path round the foot of the slope as far as Skelton Tower at map ref. SE 819928. I stopped at the tower for a drink and to admire the misty views along Newton Dale before tramping the 1.5km back to my car. It's a very interesting and attractive area even in the dull, damp, dreary weather of mid November. The whole route was about 10km and took me about 3 hours including my refreshment stops.

I continued around the rim of the Hole of Horcum as far as the Whitby to Pickering road near Saltergate at map ref. SE 849940. On this last part of the track there were two workmen with an excavator digging drainage channels from the track. All the way from Dundale Pond to the Whitby road there are iron age dikes running alongside the track. The whole of Levisham Moor seems to have been a fortified settlement in the iron age.

Double Iron Age dikes enclosing Levisham Moor
Double Iron Age dikes enclosing Levisham Moor
Seavy Pond at map ref. SE833934
Seavy Pond at map ref. SE833934
Swaledale ewes in a moorland enclosure
Swaledale ewes in a moorland enclosure
Double iron Age dikes enclosing Levisham Moor
Double Iron Age dikes enclosing Levisham Moor
The Whitby road looking towards The Saltergate Inn and Fylingdales Moor
The Whitby road looking towards
The Saltergate Inn and Fylingdales Moor
Skelton Tower
Skelton Tower
Skelton Tower
Skelton Tower