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Old Castle Hill

Stone Row / Alignment

<b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldoImage © fitzcoraldo
Nearest Town:Loftus (7km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   NZ671121 / Sheet: 94
Latitude:54° 29' 58.34" N
Longitude:   0° 57' 49.62" W

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<b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Old Castle Hill</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo


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I've searched for this row a number of times, it's not too far from my home so whenever I've had a spare hour or two and the right motivation I've driven up to Old Castle Hill and mooched around the area.
The moor up there is a managed grouse moor and is bisected by the road from the A171 to Commondale, comdle in local dialect.
This morning I was browsing through the EH Pastscape website and came across a reference to the row. This is the only reference I've come across for the row apart from Elgee's, it gave no further details but it made me determined to get out and find this site. Before leaving I read up on Elgee's description, studied and sketched Elgee's photograph of the site noting the shape of the stones and the lay of the ground.
I parked up on the Commondale road with views across to Freebrough Hill, the coast, the Black Howes and the barrows of Hob on the Hill beyond.
Elgee had positioned the site of the row on the west side of the valley, what I hadn't noticed before was a second reference that gave an extra clue - the mention of a mound.
I parked my car half way up the road and strode into the knee-high heather. After about half an hour I had found my mound and a careful search of the heather turned up two fallen stones. I carefully checked the profile of the stones against my sketch..they matched, I checked the profile of the matched, I paced the almost matched ( Elgee gave an approximate distance.
I scoured around the hill for the other stones but found nothing. The mound on which the stones are set is made of sand and gravel and is eroded at the eastern end, it is also covered in thick heather and deep peat. I suppose the other stones could still be there or have been carted off by the farmers and game keepers, as is the case on so many other sites.
So it looks like I've found my row minus three stones....Deep Joy.
This is my second North York Moors true stone row, my first was at Simon Howe I just hope I can turn up a few more.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
18th January 2004ce
Edited 17th April 2005ce

Once again I set off in search of Elgee's discoveries.
This time a stone row and a stone triangle were my goal.
Guess what i found..yep, nowt
There are two excellent stone rows on the moors here but unfortunately they are not prehistoric, they divide lord Snot's grouse moor from the Earl of Arse's grouse moor.
Killing daft birds with shotguns, I ask ya?
Anyway back to the stones, I followed Elgees we map and stuff but came up empty.
I did have a weird experience beside the Black Howes when the low winter sun went behind the clouds and dusk came two hours early.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
22nd November 2002ce


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"Stone Rows
These are rare. I discovered one in a small valley, Haredale, on the north Cleveland moors half-way between Commondale and Freeborough Hill. Here on a huge natural mound known as Old Castle Hill which projects from the western side of the valley at an elevation of 800 feet, are five small upright stones in a line about 150 yards long. The row, which is not absolutely straight, runs west-north-west by east-south-east, the most westerly stone standing about fifety feet from the others which are closer together. On the north slope there are some pits which may be hut sites.

On the end of the mound on which stands the stone alignment known as Old Castle Hill there are a few dry pits, possibly the abodes of the prehistoric priests or magicians whp performed their magical rites at the stones for the benefit of the neighbouring settlements, of which it may have been the sacred site."

Early Man in North-Yorkshire
Frank Elgee
Pub. John Bellows
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
5th September 2002ce
Edited 18th January 2004ce