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Glaisdale

Glaisdale village is an ironstone mining village of the 19th Century with attractive terraces of slate-roofed cottages, wide verges and greens that clings to the hillside on the western side of the dale just south of the River Esk.

A view of a frosty morning in Glaisdale

Nearby to the river bridge is the Railway station and trains run between Whitby and Middlesbrough on a regular basis. On the other side of the river is a road that goes up a steep bank called 'Limber Hill'. This road then leads to the village of Egton. Travelling in the opposite direction the road at the bottom of Limber Hill will take the visitor back out to the main Whitby to Guisborough road, (The A171).
Farming is still a major part of the rural economy here, as it is in the rest of the north yorks moors, and helps to shape the landscape that we know as the countryside today. The drystone walls that are typical of the field boundaries in the moors were originally built from the stones that had been dragged to the borders of the fields when the land was cleared and ploughed. A well built dry stone wall should last more than a hundred years, if it is built correctly, and is not subject to undermining by streams, drains or moles. When the visitor looks across the dales they may notice that the drystone walls tend to follow a particular line along the dale. This line that they follow was the original 'snow line' when the fields were initially cultivated and was adopted as the field boundary.
There are two bridges that cross the river; one where the present road crosses the river which is constructed chiefly of metal, and the other known locally as 'Beggar's Bridge; This is an attractive high arched stone-built packhorse bridge which is just downstream of the first was built in 1619 by Thomas Ferries the son of a local moorland farmer. It is said that whilst courting Agnes, the daughter of a well-to-do landowner who thought that poor Thomas was beneath his daughter, Thomas had to swim across the Esk to see her. Thomas decided that the only way to find his fortune and thus please Agnese's Father was to go to sea. The night before his departure, the river was so high that he was unable to meet Agnes to say his farewells. Legend has it that he swore that upon his return he would build a bridge on that very spot. Thomas was true to his word with the bridge is still standing but no longer in use, except as a footbridge. A short film has been made based on this tale. More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1692929/.

An image of Beggar's Bridge at Glaisdale

Because iron ore was abundant in the surrounding hills three blast furnaces were built here in 1869. In time they were unable to compete economically with steelworks that had easier access to iron ore and coke and inevitably the blast furnaces were closed down in 1875.
Glaisdale was also an important trading centre. So important was it that an Irish engineer was commissioned to build a railway to it. This project ran out of money before it was completed and various unfinished cuttings and embankments can be seen on the moors along the planned route. These remains are affectionately known locally as 'Paddy Waddle's Railway'. This was to run from Lingdale in Cleveland to Glaisdale.
The prefix of the Post Code for Glaisdale is YO21-2.
If you have any further knowledge or have information about local history, folklore, Geology & Archaeology which you think would be of interest to others please contact us.

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