Monday, 20 October 2008

A walk round Rosedale Abbey

The Milburn Arms is the 'pub next door' although when we do go for a drink we go to The Coach House Inn round the corner or the White Horse Farm up the Chimney Bank in both of which you'll find a lively crowd of locals. The Abbey Stores is the hub of the village. It caters for tourists with its tea rooms, ice-cream, maps and guide books and for everyone and anyone as it sells almost everything you need. Anne who runs both (and bakes all the cakes, scones and biscuits) knows everyone and everything you need to know. The stores face the main village green which is dominated by a sycamore tree. The 'little' green has a long way to catch up. Its tree (which if I remember correctly is some sort of prunus) was planted for the Millennium but it is smothered in daffodils in the spring. The row of cottages are in fact the rear of the primary school which is next to the church. The village used to have a post office but that was closed about five years ago and is now a private house. (and don't get me started on post office closures.)
The village is pretty much Victorian built fore the miners who descended on the dale en masse to dig out iron-ore and sent it by rail to Teesside. There are about half a dozen terraces each of about six cottages. Records show that the cottages, half of which are now holiday lets or weekend cottages or lived in by families of no more than fours once housed families of ten or more people. They are well-built but must have been dark and cramped. Quite a few of them were shops. I wonder whose idea it was to design them, not as typical miner's rows such as at School Row or Hill Houses further up the dale but with pointed gables and in places, Gothic arched doors and windows. Presumably, they took their inspiration from the ruined priory crumbling behind the church. What a pity they also took most of the stones as well, thus speeding its destruction until virtually nothing is now left.

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1 comment:

Jo said...

What a pretty village! I love the sound of those homemade cakes and scones at the village store. What a temptation every day!