Day 2 – Sundial dated 1050, Hyenas Cave, Impassable Fords, Black Rod Technique, Rickets, Winkle Up.

Post 218: 5 December 2017, The Inn Way, Wombleton to Gillamoor. 

We started walking on day 2 of The Inn Way from Wombleton with a fine sunrise in the distance.


Just after Welburn we came across the old dismantled railway line from Helmsley to Kirbymoorside. We don’t think this will be one to be re-opened under government plans.


We arrived at the delightful St Gregory’s Minster. A church has been here since the 7th century, although the current one was built in the 11th century with some additions since.


Above the entrance door is a sundial dating from 1050.


A plaque inside the church reads:

Orm son of Gamel bought St Gregory’s when it was completely broken and fallen down and he had made it anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory, in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig. Hawarth made me: and Brand was the priest. This is the day’s sun-marker at every hour. 

It is significant because it confirms after a century and a half of Viking settlement here that the settler’s descendants were now using English, not Danish or Norwegian, as the appropriate language for monumental inscriptions.


There are also ancient stone crosses in the porch.

Across from the church just off the road beside the ford is a cave which in 1821 was found to have bones belonging to lion, elephant, tiger, bear, hippopotamus (most northerly remains in the world), mammoth, rhinoceros, wolf plus hundreds of hyenas. It was a hyenas den.

The route of The Inn Way then crosses a ford, which on this occasion was not crossable. This meant a half mile diversion back to the road.


Here there was another impassable ford but fortunately it had a footbridge alongside.

We arrived at Hold Caldron, which looks to be a former mill.


Clearing the trees, the impressive Sleightholme Dale Lodge came into view and a first glimpse of the Moors.


We arrived at the village of Fadmoor and, bearing in mind this was The Inn Way, Sid the Yorkshireman thought he could open the pub using the black rod technique.


Shortly afterwards we arrived at Gillamoor, passing someone who was preparing the Christmas decorations for the Royal Oak Inn.


In the village a sundial was erected in 1800 by public subscription. It has four faces, on top of which is a fifth circular sundial, making it the most elaborate sundial in the country.


We passed St Aidan’s Church, a place of worship since the 12th century. Due to the high, winds situated as it is on the escarpment, it has no windows on the north and east sides.


It was time for lunch with a fabulous view towards Farndale and LownaP1090277


Here we left The Inn Way to find a circular route back to the car.

Feeling sorry for an ancient ash tree we sent Carol ahead to give it a hug.


At Kirbymoorside we came across a noticeboard which highlighted that children in the 1900s suffered from various diseases including rickets, poliomyelitis and bacterial TB.


We then encountered the Hemlsey Winkle Club. This was formed in the 1980s and has donated thousands of pounds for local charities. The first Winkle Club was formed in Hastings in the 1900 by fishermen. Each Winkle Club member carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘winkle up’. Winston Churchill was a member of the club.


We arrived back at the impressive Welburn Hall, now a school. Two ‘potential students’ were trying to escape through the gate. This was a Jacobean Hall from 1603 but was largely destroyed by fire two fires. It was rebuilt in 1891.


Miles Walked 13.4

Steps 28,000 

Calories Burnt 3100

Elevation Gained 695 feet

Mininum Elevation 117 Feet

Maximum Elevation 564 Feet 






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