Friday, February 4, 2011

Yorkshire's Drystone Walls

I was looking at a post that I wrote in early March of 2010 about the drystone walls in Yorkshire. I came across these photos again and thought I wanted to bring them to light in another post.

One of the inescapable features of the Yorkshire landscape is the ubiquitous drystone wall, and I just can't get enough of them. I'm not sure why they fascinate me so. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a land where cattle were fenced in with barbed wire.

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! I've met some of the descendants of those Yorkshire people, and they've carried on that strong work ethic in their own lives. I hope they've been successful in passing it along to their children.

One of my favorite photos, with that amazing valley in the background
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 of the drystone wall and Kevin talking on his cellphone to our kids back in Wisconsin.

And Kevin just loves driving on these roads. LOL

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 about Hardraw Force in an upcoming post.)  I hear that because of the M roads making these remote areas more accessible, people from the Big City are buying up homes in Yorkshire, but there's a big difference between their experience and the reality of those who lived on that severe landscape eighty years ago.

I'm so drawn to that bleak countryside. Maybe that's because I live with a bleak landscape myself for at least four months of the year.

From Wisconsin, with serious cabin fever...
Have a great weekend, everyone!



Country Girl in the City said...

I enjoyed reading this post! I am a James Herriot fan and have been reading his books again lately, which I do every couple of years. Herriot did describe Yorkshire so well and also the work ethic of the people. If I ever make it to the UK again, I would HAVE to go here! Thanks for the great photos.

Linda... said...

The pics are breath-taking. And I'll have to try the author - haven't read anything of his yet. Enjoy your day.

Denise said...

I really enjoyed this post sweetie.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Your England posts make me want to visit so badly!! Getting to England someday is on my bucket list for sure :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, your photos are gorgeous! I have had a lifelong love of the drystone walls. Would love to see them again. Unlike Kevin, my husband does not love driving those roads! (Cabin fever? At least YOU are cooped up with Lionel!)

Empty Nester said...

The photos are just lovely. My favorite? The last one! Loved your comment on my post! The habenero is out! LOL

Caution/Lisa said...

I absolutely LOVE bleak lanscapes. Can't explain it, can't defend it when Keith rolls his eyes at me, and can't imagine life without them :)

Midwest to Midlands said...

I too love the stone fences and of course the sheep grazing in the pastures.

Heide said...

I wouldn't describe them as bleak! They are so pretty!!! I can just see James Herriot driving those roads! I shall have to consult my map.......figure out the distance between the Dales and New Castle. Might have to be on the list!

I am so sorry you have cabin fever! Ugh!
This is just about the time of year my sister and I go spend a couple of hours in the garden center. They have a small section of house plants. We stand and soak up some green! We usually buy a primrose or violet or cyclaman too!!

Judy S. said...

I loved those books, too. Looks to me like WI has more trees and less sheep! You've sure seen a lot of England....makes me want to go back there.

Penelope Potts said...

Wonderful, wonderful! I do love a wall.

Natalya said...

BEAUTIFUL! And I don't think it's so bleak. :) I like it too...but I guess I live with a "bleak" landscape four (or more) months of the year too! :) Anyway, I like it :) It looks (to me) like something from North and South. Something Margaret would look out and see from her window or on her walks. :)

Robin said...

Judy, love your pictures. Don't forget to get a book by Phinn.

Abigail Rogers said...


You've won the giveaway over at Picture Britain! Email me at greatbritpics [at] gmail [dot] com for the redemption code!

The Britophile

corners of my life said...

How absolutely charming.

Mama Hen said...

I love the pictures! I feel the same way about the snone walls here in New England. They are everywhere and I always wonder the story behind each of them. That last picture is beautiful! I am ready for spring now. The endless snow has kept us inside a lot. We can't even go sledding because the snow is so high and we can't get to the back yard. Have a great night!

Mama Hen


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