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Ingleby Greenhow to Incline & Bloworth

This walk of contrasts takes us south from Ingleby Greenhow up on to the moors of the Cleveland Hills, which here rise to more than 1,300ft, among the highest in the North York Moors National Park.

Distance: 9 miles (full walk)

Time: 5 hours

Grade: moderate

Conditions: moor section can be bleak

Refreshments: Dudley Arms

OS Explorer Map OL26

Originally published: 17 October 2003


They shelter the village from the east wind and were linked to it in the nineteenth century by the remarkable Rosedale Railway Incline, which we follow to reach the summit. A shorter walk, avoiding the climb, is also described.


Ingleby Greenhow means "village of the English on the green hill and is of Scandinavian origin, emphasising it was an isolated English settlement surrounded by a predominantly Viking population. Its church, part Norman and part eighteenth century restoration, is well worth visiting for the simplicity of its interior. Look out, too, for two medieval stone effigies in the nave, one of a knight, the other a priest, Vilks de Wrelton.


Two squints allowed worshippers in the nave to see the ceremony at the altar, although their attention might have been distracted by the grotesque animals carved on the capitals of the nave pillars above them. The church is in a leafy setting by the Ingleby Beck, which we cross by a footbridge next to a ford to begin the walk.


From the ford go left up a flight of worn, stone steps and along a path through fields high above the beck. This is well marked and leads past De Lisle Cottage to Low Farm. Follow the farm access track to a tarred lane. Go left here and then left again on the next footpath in about a quarter of a mile.


Recross the beck by a footbridge and climb gently across three fields to reach the track of the former Rosedale Railway, now a gravel road. Built in 1858 as a narrow gauge line to take iron ore from the Cleveland Hills at Rudd Scar, it was soon converted to standard gauge to become part of a far more ambitious scheme to link the Rosedale iron mines with ironworks in Middlesbrough. It was in use until 1929.


Where our walks joins it, the road is straight and almost flat. If you wish to shorten your walk, turn left here and follow the track for a mile to Bank Foot where you rejoin the longer route. If you are game to scale the heights of Greenhow Moor, turn right instead to reach, in about half a mile, the Ingleby Incline, the most spectacular relic of the line, which starts just beyond four former railway cottages. The incline is almost a mile long and climbs to an altitude of 1,370ft. It is not a difficult ascent, although the gradient varies between one in 11 and one in five.


As you climb, it is interesting to think that it took wagons laden with iron ore about three minutes to descend, while, simultaneously, a set of empty wagons was being drawn up the slope, all linked to steep ropes which passed round drums at the summit and the bottom. Old photographs attest to the destruction caused when the occasional train of wagons ran away.


When, eventually, you reach the top, the views westwards along the line of the Cleveland Hills are outstanding. There is little left, except foundations of the cottages, workshops and drum house, to indicate the intense activity a century ago. You can again shorten the walk by over a mile by turning left here across the open moor. Tum left when you reach the Cleveland Way, only 100 yards or so away.


Our longer route continues ahead, following the railway for about a mile to Bloworth Crossing. Today, this is an important but bleak junction of walkers' tracks. In the heyday of the railway there was a level crossing here and cottages for the crossing keepers. Even

though this was the ancient ridge route from Kirkbymoorside to Stokesley, there would have been little traffic to control. The line continued ahead to the mines in Rosedale and is now used by Coast to Coast walkers heading for the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge. The track to the right goes along Rudland Rigg, high above Bransdale and Farndale.


We turn sharp left, on the old road which is now part of the Cleveland Way. Within half a mile you pass Jenny Bradley, an ancient standing stone and, nearby, an 8ft high pillar, dated 1888, with the name Sir W Fowels, the then owner of Ingleby Manor. Beyond the next

marker, the prominent Bronze Age barrows of Burton Howe, the track descends gently while maintaining panoramic views over the Cleveland plain. In another mile, the Cleveland Way bears right on its way to Kildale and to Roseberry Topping which, with the monument to Captain Cook, stands out clearly on the horizon.


Our route now descends Ingleby Bank past the prominent cluster of rocks known as Turkey Nab. The surface is rough but the views towards industrial Teesside are wide-ranging. Just beyond the first gate a short cut can be taken down through the trees to Bank Foot. The lane coming in here from the left is the old railway line and the route taken by those making the short cut. Go beyond the houses along the tarred lane for 100 yards before taking a field

path on the left. (There are two stiles into the field 50 yards apart.)


Cross two fields and when you can see Ingleby Manor ahead in the trees, go right over a stile. The path will bring you back to Ingleby Greenhow in less than half a mile.

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