Arthur Mee in his 'North Riding' of 1941 describes Ingleby Greenhow as "tucked away in a lovely glen which cuts into the Cleveland Hills, with a stream flowing from Greenhow Moor on its way to the River Leven". It makes a good starting point for this six and a half mile walk which explores the rolling pastures separating the village from neighbouring Great Broughton. Choose a bright, dry day when there are sharp views of the encircling hills and the rights of way have a chance to dry out.
Distance: 6.5 miles
Time: 4 hours
Conditions: mostly field paths, well restored a few years ago, some maintenance now needed
Refreshments: Dudley Arms, Wainstones, Bay Horse, Jet Miners, Great Broughton shop
OS Explorer Map OL26
Originally published: 15 January 2016
We start from the parish church of St. Andrew (GR 581 063). In a woodland setting close to Ingleby Beck it was built by the Normans and restored in 1741. Inside, look out for the two medieval effigies, one of a knight, the other a priest, Vilks de Wrelton. Equally fascinating are the grotesque carvings of the pier capitals including a dragon, a panther stalking a pig and a whale.
From the car park return towards the village and in a few paces, opposite the imposing gate piers of the drive to Ingleby Hall, turn left on Marsh Lane. In about 250 yards and after passing the village hall it crosses the beck. On the other side go right over a low wall on a path which keeps close to the stream for a quarter of a mile before it skirts Ingleby Mill, visible through the trees on the right.
Just beyond the mill our path turns sharp left and in 100 yards goes right, over a stile which after rain may be marooned by a deep pool. The right of way then crosses the next field to the line of the former railway which once linked Stockton to Battersby Junction where it continued on the existing line to Whitby. Built in 1856 it carried 22 passenger trains daily before the First World War. It was closed in 1954. Go left along the track and in a few steps, right.
The path is then well signed on a diversion around Gilder Tofts and there are good views of Captain Cook's Monument on Easby Moor and of Roseberry Topping. Cross the farm track and in 100 yards rejoin the beckside through a large blue gate close to an ornamental pool. The path then crosses the beck and bears left to Drummer Hill Farm. 100 yards from the buildings go through the right of two gates.
At the farm cross straight over the access track and over the wall stile on the left of an electrically operated gate. The right of way continues down a field track to a ford (with footbridge) over Ingleby Beck. In another 100 yards go left over a stile and straight across the next field, following the crop line and keeping slightly to the left of a prominent oak tree. Turn right at the fence ahead and then left through a gate by the tree. The grassy track now passes a trig point and heads for Castle House Farm. The views south to the Cleveland Hills are outstanding.
At Castle House continue on a path in front of the buildings to reach Whitehouse Farm after 3 fields. Keeping the buildings on your left follow the signed path through a play area in the trees. You cross Little Broughton Beck and then follow the well used access track which in about 150 yards passes under the former railway. After the tunnel double sharp right up on to the embankment and follow it for about 250 yards. At the end go left over a stile and then immediately right. With a hedge on your right continue over one field to join a farm track on the edge of Great Broughton. Cross one lane and continue down Roseworth to the B 1257 where turn left.
A stroll up the High Street reveals much of the village's history, described in an excellent Heritage Trail leaflet available in the village shop for 50p. Now mainly a commuting village bisected by the popular road into Bilsdale, it once had a linen mill before becoming, after 1860, a centre for selling the jet quarried in the nearby hills. Three pubs survive from those days as do 5 nonconformist chapels although only the Methodist chapel is still a place of worship. The village's houses are built of sandstone from local quarries. Weavers Cottage dates from 1717.
Our walk follows High Street along to the Bay Horse. About 100 paces beyond the pub turn left following the sign up the drive of Nos 117 and 119. This leads to a well used field path which heads for Meynell Hall visible a mile away. It is easy going and there are sweeping views ahead to Greenhow Bank and, on its right flank, the Rosedale Incline, the most famous section of the the 19th century railway connecting the iron mines in Rosedale to furnaces in Ferryhill.
Meynell Hall is Elizabethan and probably the oldest building in the area. The bricked up mullion windows were uncovered when the rendering covering the building was stripped away.
At this point there's a choice of routes, both mapped. The shorter involves crossing the stile in front of the hall and doubling back, right over an adjacent stile. The path drops to a bridge over Little Broughton Beck and after a short climb continues along the right hand side of the field ahead. A very boggy section where the path passes through woodland can be avoided by following a well beaten way left, around the trees. Another short section of woodland follows before joining Marsh Lane. Turn right for a half mile walk back to Ingleby.
The longer alternative follows field paths to the south of Meynell Hall. The views are panoramic. Go past the hall to a stile and turn left along the edge of the deep ravine cut by Little Broughton Beck. In 200 yards it is crossed by a splendid new footbridge just waiting to be used. The path then bears right keeping close to the beck before crossing a second bridge. From here the right of way bears left across the middle of the next field to Bonnie Hill Farm. As this entails walking over a newly sown crop it may be easier to follow either edge of the field to reach the farm's access track away to the left.
Then head towards the buildings and where the track bends to the right just past the first barn go left (no sign) up to a field. Keep to the left hand edge for 100 yards before going left over a broken stile. In another 100 yards go right over another stile and bear right across the next field to a gate. Then follow the right hand side of the following field to a lane. Turn left and in a few paces go right on a track (unfit for motor traffic) which soon drops down to the ford by Ingleby Greenhow church.