Bell End and Rosedale in the North York Moors
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Join Rob for a day exploring a bell end, a low bell end, a bell top, and if you can be bothered, industrial heritage and beautiful moorland landscapes.
This is a 12 mile (approx) circular walk from a popular North York Moors Inn. It takes in stunning moorland landscapes, which should include the very end of the heather flower season. We will walk on a disused mineral line around the head of Rosedale, and pass the derelict kilns and other buildings associated with the mining activity that took place here.
The area around Chimney Bank was the first part of Rosedale to experience the explosion of modern ironstone mining. Work began in 1856 and the initial mining was easy pickings as the ironstone stood out from the hillside as a cliff outcrop. Local legend says that during thunderstorms lightning would often strike the cliff and people talked of the devil or treasure buried in the hill.
Bank Top kilns were built to refine the ironstone through a process called ‘calcining’ – burning the ore with coal to reduce its weight by up to half and remove impurities. This meant much more efficient transport costs in getting to the ore to where it would be smelted into iron – first around Durham and later Teesside.
Once mining was underway in Rosedale large ironstone deposits were soon discovered on the east side of the valley too and extraction began here in 1860. The initial resources were plentiful, in seams up to 14ft thick, but the quality soon deteriorated and after several stops and starts mining finally left here, and all of Rosedale, in 1926. By then, around 11 million tonnes of ironstone had been taken from the valley and used in construction projects around the world.
A visit to Rosedale wouldn't be complete without visiting a bell end. It's so significant, it's marked on the Ordnance Survey map.
If it has reopened, we can stop for refreshments at the Inn at the end. All pics taken by the Leader and available for use by OutdoorLads anytime
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and water. If the pub is open, we can have a drink / food afterwards.