Rosedale Abbey has many stories to tell - over the course of a thousand years, hard-working hill farmers have shaped the landscape, and their hard work is clear to see. The discovery of ironstone in Rosedale during the 1850s led to a huge population increase, from around 500 to 5,000 miners and their families at its peak, turning Rosedale into a hive of activity and a bustling industrial town. The mines were closed in the 1920s, but the crumbling remains of the calcining kilns still line the valley today.
The ‘Abbey' in Rosedale Abbey may be slightly misleading - the ruins are actually the remains of a Cistercian Priory, inhabited by nuns from 1158 to 1535. These nuns are likely to have been the first people to farm sheep commercially in the region. The priory building was dismantled during the mining boom, when the stone was used to build a new church on the site of the original priory. One tower of the old priory is still visible nevertheless, just outside the current church, The Church of St Mary and St Laurence.
What to see and do...
Rosedale is a walkers paradise, with routes for all abilities, including the old railway which affords a breathtaking view of the whole of Rosedale. Two of the most popular walks are the four mile walk across to Northdale and the longer Northdale Rigg. Also worth visiting is The Dale Head Farm Tea Garden which is situated in the picturesque North York Moors
Images of Rosedale kindly supplied by Patrick Chambers.
Part of the The North York Moors
Wild, windswept and wonderful, the North York Moors are a breath of fresh air. Comprising over 1,400 miles of natural beauty, this enchanting region is home to heather moorland, pine forests, rolling hills and shimmering coastline, not to mention badgers, roe deer, red squirrels and hawks. Look closer and you'll discover historic abbeys, castles and priories, traditional pubs and 'hidden' villages and hamlets.