|Allan Tofts is an area of rough scrub, pasture and moorland on the west-facing, sandstone scarp edge of the Murk Esk Valley.
The area is best accessed via the A169 and then following the signs to Beck Hole. Once on the Beck Hole road you'll pass the massive linear scars where the igneous Cleveland Dyke was quarried for road stone and cobbles.
The area is well worth a good mooch around. A few carved rocks have been recorded here in the past but this number has been increased significantly by the diligent surveying of the mighty Graeme C. and those tenacious hunters of rock art, Paul & Barbara Brown.
The rock art here appears to be associated with cairns, of which there are over 200 (at least 220 according to the SMR extract). This is a pattern which is repeated on Brow Moor which about 12km due west of this site.
As well as the rock art and the cairns there are numerous earthwork features including banks and irregular enclosures, which have been interpretted as prehistoric field systems.
The site can be quite confusing as you have bields and medieval workings overlaying prehistoric structures.
Another good reason to visit Allan Tofts are the wonderful views across the Murk Esk valley. It's possible to sit on the scarp edge and lose yourself in the beautiful North Yorkshire mixture of bleak moorland and fertile dales.
Incidentally Graeme C. has discovered marked rocks on the opposite side of the valley on Murk Mire Moor.
If your looking for reasons to drag your family to this area you can always use the excuse that the tv program Heartbeat is filmed about 1km away in Goathland and the NYM steam railway also runs through this valley.
Posted by fitzcoraldo
18th December 2004ce
Edited 18th December 2004ce