Sunday, 14 April 2013

A walk from Middleham to Jervaulx Abbey


After a talk with one of my friends ("The Scarborough sandcastle manager !") who I sometimes go walking with, we decided to attend a James Bond Ball function in Wakefield,Yorkshire with some other friends we knew and others we did not. Not being one to miss an opportunity for a walk, he hatched a plan to squeeze one in on the way there even though it was a little longer than I would have liked given the circumstances. Due to my ignorance, I had to look all of these locations up on the map to see where they were !

GJC_000007 - Version 2
On the wall of Sundial House (former Post Office) by John Briggs.
It was a early start, a sunny day and an ideal opportunity to explore something new despite my mind being mostly on the unease of the event later in the day.

After parking the car and a refreshment purchase, we explored very quickly the town giving me just enough time to take a photograph of each subject !

On a side note, these are the images that I struggled with for months whilst trying to watermark them. The sundial and sheep images were cropped and somehow the watermark was too large and even though I created the watermark in photoshop with thanks to Adrian, I rectified the publication with a different arrangement. Needless to say that I was sick and tired of looking at these and had to wait awhile before returning to them now.


George Formby once attended The Old School Room which later became an Art Gallery after it closed in 1977 and subsequently a conversion into a private house.

On a side note, this school building was the first ever image I straightened out the converging verticals in Photoshop. It's a complicated beast that caused me a series of many problems that unbelievably led me to get a larger hard drive. One day I might do a course on it but I only use it for this rectification for the moment.

Red Fed
Middleham is famous for two things ... A Castle and a breeding ground for training Race horses.

It seems expected of me that someone more interested in Art and Geography should give some history to The Castle at this point ! ... I'll try to keep it short and interesting !!

Alan Rufus, a nephew of William the Conquerer decided to fortify the land he was given by his uncle at Middleham soon after the Norman Conquest. The wooden castle monitored the traffic from Skipton to Richmond where he also built a castle.
About 100 years and two generations later in the family, Robert Fitzrandolph built a nearby updated stone version which at the time the Keep was the largest in England with 3 floors and very thick walls. The castle was extended in the 13th century with an additional external wall later creating accommodation for soldiers, horses (now theres a thing !) and supplies.
The best days of the castle were during the 15th century when its status was such that it became home to more important royalty and was the childhood home and preferred residence of Richard III. However after his defeat at The Battle of Bosworth, The Tudor dynasty, began by Henry VII, placed less importance on the castle and its good times were over.  The Stuart dynasty didn't want it, so James I gave it to a knight, Sir Henry Linley, who had to renovate it in order for him and his immediate family to live there.
It was partially destroyed during the English Civil War following its use as a prison and subsequently sold to the Wood family who kept it for 200 years. The "Masham Dynasty" bought it for a short period before falling into official hands in 1906 for care and subsequent preservation.

Ooo time for a walk I think !!! .... in an anti clockwise direction from the north west corner. I expanded it to extra large so you could see the detail better and secondly so you could see why I keep the images the size that they are !! (without changing the whole blog page). Thirdly, there's something wrong with my laptop command key, so unfortunately no more maps apart from the ones I saved into drafts.

Typical scenery on leaving Middleham

A drink stop on the journey watching fellow walkers struggling to cross the river before we followed in their footsteps.


East Witton is a delightful and peaceful place that once had a market for 400 years but died out. There didn't seem to be any sign of commercialism at all as we passed through, maybe the local shop was around the corner away from our route.

Most of the village has been updated and rebuilt ...  about 200 years ago !

The church of St John the Evangelist was built at the time and out of the same pot of money. The estate containing the church was later bought by the "Masham dynasty" that I mentioned earlier.

The next section of the walk had a little more gradient to it as we continued through a mix of farmland and country lanes to Jervaulx Abbey ...

I didn't intend putting the above image in the post but felt I had to as I would be hiding things from the reader by overcropping your view !

Jervaulx Abbey was a 12th century Monastery that suffered a worse fate in the Dissolution of the Monasteries than Middleham Castle suffered in the English Civil War.

The current owners take the view that it is a place of peace and enchantment with 180 different kinds of flowers being allowed to grow naturally in any space they choose.


The remaining surrounding walls and walkways proved both a photogenic delight and challenge as it was a thoroughfare from the entrance gate.


It was an ideal place to stop and have a late lunch and a much needed drink !!

Time was marching on as we still had about half the walk to complete and a 75 minute drive to our destination in Wakefield.

Race horse out for a canter !!
The walk back although pleasant was generally a flat riverside walk ...

... meeting animals along the path of ever decreasing speed  ... !!


  1. A beautiful series of shots. Kentucky has the same dry stone walls that surround that castle.

  2. Another good look round.

    It is always easier to use the Free Transform tool to straighten images. CTRL T> hold CTRL and drag corner handles. The Crop tool is CS6 is a real wonder of the world and non destructive. If you stamp your watermark on a new layer you can quickly resize it.

  3. Hahahaha. Loved the last three photos and your caption at the end. :-D Enjoyed this post and your photos. We were SO CLOSE to these places, did go to Middleham castle, but just. It had been a long day and we were tired. So did not explore it or Jervaulx at all. So sad, huh. But nice to read your blog post on them! I am glad you didn't give up after all the frustration you had with watermarking the photos.

  4. You have taken us on a wonderful visual view through your walk. All places I haven't yet visited myself.

  5. Very nice, Jay ..
    Thank you so much for stopping by !!!!

  6. Beautiful photos from an enjoyable trip, J_on_tour! Hoe lovely are those daffodils!

    I think you have to change my blog address in your blogroll, to know when I am posting:)

  7. BTW, that first beautiful photo captures many of the things I especially love about Yorkshire!

  8. I love your photos, as always. That abbey intrigues me, with the flowers growing on it. It's sad to know it's decaying, but it's still beautiful.

  9. Animals of ever decreasing speed... :) And the lambs are cute!

    It's interesting how the flowers growing among the stones of the abbey bring life to the remnants. I'm glad you posted also the overall look of the abbey, the details impose somewhat different expectations.


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