18 August 2012

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire

Self portrait with (older) brother and north sea in the background

Roseberry Topping sounds like something you might be offered in a chintzy restaurant, but it is a 320 metre high nodular outcrop in North Yorkshire, made both characteristic and dangerous by earlier mining activities which blew off one face and created a spectacular drop towards Great Ayton.

From the top you can choose between the old mining sites and the fertile agricultural lands toward Great Ayton:

or the open skies and distant vistas of the sea to the north:

To the south the views reach to the Cleveland Hills and the North York Moors:

Or westwards you can just about make out the distant shapes of the Yorkshire Dales:

Between Great Ayton, the village where Captain James Cook was educated and until relatively recently home to a renowned Quaker School, and Roseberry Topping there is Cliff Rigg Quarry, a site curated by the National Trust where, until 1972, whinstone, an igneous rock used principally for road dressing, was mined from the Cleveland Dyke.  The quarry was served by the Cliff Rigg Railway, and this was linked to the Roseberry Mines tramway, which transported ore from the workings on Roseberry Topping.  The tramway and the railway have long since been dismantled, but there are permissive paths which allow you to follow the tracks.

As ever in this part of the world, the weather is changeable and the clouds begin to mass.

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