Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Drystone Walls, England - Mmmm, My Favorite!

I am compelled to start this post with an apology. I am truly sorry that not everyone finds stone walls as fascinating as I do. So just indulge me.

One of the inescapable features of the Yorkshire landscape is the ubiquitous drystone wall.

Of course, I'm not the one who had to pick the rock and haul it by hand and set it to build an enclosure, and I'm not the one whose livestock no longer had a place to pasture, due to the Enclosure Act,

but as I look at the drystone walls today, they hold a certain beauty for me. I think of all the man and woman hours it took to build them. What a hardy and hard-working people those Yorkshire inhabitants were!

What got me started on Yorkshire in the first place, was the series of books by 'James Herriot,' All Creatures Great and Small.

I wanted to see the area of England that he described so well in his books, and the scenery I had viewed on the TV series starring Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy, and Peter Davison. 2003 brought me my first glimpse of the Yorkshire Dales and it made an indelible impression on my little brain. I had to go back for more.

I wouldn't want to miss my curve on the B6160. You wouldn't believe how fast the natives drive on these skinny, winding, unshouldered roads!

I love the juxtaposition (nota bene, Kimmy) of the drystone wall and Kevin talking on his cellphone to our kids back in Wisconsin.

I took most of these photos in the area of the Hardraw Force, north and west of Hawes, or on the B6160 between Leyburn and Kettlewell, or between Kettlewell and Embsay. (More on all of those in future posts)

I can hardly wait to go back.

And just in case you want to build your own drystone wall, here's some information that might come in handy.
Look at that rocky landscape!


Deborah said...

Beautiful photos as always. I love to read your stories about your visits as I will never go there in person but can visit through your photos and story telling. I like the one of Kevin on the phone talking to the kids and of course the sheep. So...when are we getting together to build a stone wall on our properties? :D

Cranberry Morning said...

I'll have to read the drystone wall article again, Deb, and then I'll be happy to supervise when you and Mike are building your drystone wall. :-D

Bethany Nash said...

I was just watching "All Creatures..." last week. :)

You should see how fast people drive in Switzerland. The roads are so narrow, and they're clapped right on the side of the mountain, and the locals just fly. Buses, too, even though they can barely make some of the corners.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

I love your blog!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures. Becky T. is my sister and she sent me your link. Some day I am going to England, it has been a life long goal. I am always thrilled to hear about someones adventures! We also LOVE "All Creatures"! I can't wait to see what you will post next! Our ancestors are actually from the Yorkshire area, New Castle. Is that considered Yorkshire? Have you ever been there? Thank you for inspiring, Heide

Cranberry Morning said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who never tires of 'All Creatures...' Bethany! I feel safer on US roads. :-)

Heidi, I've looked up Newcastle, and there seem to be four different ones in GB, not counting the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne which is north of Yorkshire. Youmust get over there immediately. Who knows, there may still be some relatives lingering in the area. And since you'll be going right through Yorkshire, you'll have to visit Herriot Country. :-) (I will be happy to accompany you for a small fee and a sack lunch.) ;-)


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