We set out from Greenfoot car park in Settle with John Fox our guide using notes prepared by Tony Stephens on the early history of the area. We passed down Watery Lane with the communal Townfields of Settle on our right and the old arable fields with evidence of lynchets produced by ploughing, visible on our left up the hillside, which were developed as population grew in the 13th C. The field names ‘Furricar’, now known as Far Acres, and Riddings were noted. Further on was the barn on the left with the carved stone IH 1826, notable for its good quality stonework. Other derelict field barns in neighbouring fields are reminders of agricultural practice no longer carried out. One of the small structures may have been a ‘hull’ , to house one or two cows with feed over winter.
At the end of Watery Lane we proceeded towards Cleatop Wood and diverted to the right to examine rocks by the trees, on one of which is carved a cross which probably was a boundary marker between the property of Anley manor and demesne estate of Cleatop, occupied by Henry de Percy in the 13th C, and home of the Manor Court. Anley was larger than Settle at the time of Domesday and in following centuries.
We continued through Cleatop Wood upwards to Lodge Lane and descended to Settle across the fields. Newfield could be seen on the right, at one time leased by John Wildman at a time when pressure on land led to assarting of higher ground around Settle. Wildman built the house on Victoria Street that John Fox now owns and 17th C documents relate details of his landholding.