Malham Moor

Leader - David S. Johnson
6 June 1999
Meeting Place - Street Gate, Malham Tarn

 JOURNAL 
 2000 
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 
A truly horrendous downpour at 1.30 had the leader cursing the skies and fearing the worst, but the weather did manage to hang on to most of its moisture during the afternoon.

We set off across Ha Mire, with its fine display of birdís-eye primrose, before climbing over the rise between Highfolds Scar and Great Close Hill to drop down into Great Close. For many decades this was the location of the enormous stock fairs where cattle were fattened up for sale after being driven on the hoof from Scotland.

The group then followed the historic route, romantically called the Monkís Road, past Middle House farm to old Middle House. This simple house belies its long and interesting past and its former high status, though the impressive dovecote does indicate the latter. The leader produced the key and the group were able to grovel around inside the house in the dark.

We then made our way along the old packhorse road to the parish boundary between Malham Moor and Arncliffe, to Dew Bottoms. This is an extensive settlement site with a series of enclosed fields, paddocks and hut circles. When asked to date the site, the leader confidently ascribed it to the P.M. (ie pre-modern) but, for those who might prefer a more precise dating, it can be firmly described as U.P. (unknown prehistoric!).

Return was via an early mine with the first recorded use of gunpowder in south Dales mining, and a limestone pavement complete with fossilised U.P. wall systems.

D.S.J.

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Dew Bottoms Grid ref 912696
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Horse Brass - Nappa Diana Kaneps