North York Moors Standing Stones

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Visitors to the North York Moors that surround Rosella Cottage here in Rosedale Abbey are often struck by the range of Standing Stones and Moorland Crosses they see dotted about across this unique and distinctive landscape.

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Standing Stones are a Unique Feature of the North York Moors.

And many holidaymakers that are new to the Moors are mystified by the Stones.

The Stones themselves are of many forms.  

Some are ancient true "Standing Stones" that were erected by stone-age and bronze-age peoples' over 3,500 years ago. 

Examples of these types include Blue man in't Moss about a mile or so off the Rosedale to Egton moor road.

Blue Man int Moss 2

Blue man in't Moss.

Other stones have been erected in much more recent times.  

An example is the huge stone placed by the North York Moors National Park Authority on the Moor directly above Rosedale Head to mark the 2,000 Millennium celebration.

Millennium stone Rosedale Abbey

Rosedale's Millenium Stone.

Many standing stones are simple boundary stones to mark the edges of the various landed estates that still hold huge tracts of land across the upland Moors.  These stones will often have the initials of the various estates carved on one or two sides; and in places they are painted white with a lime wash each year.

Blakey Ridge

Estate Boundary Marker Stone near the Lion Inn above Rosedale.

Another type of standing stone that is fairly common are actually ancient road signs; to assist weary travellers on their hikes across the flatish, featureless plateau of the high moors.  In ancient times before Maps and GPs; and with wolves a real risk - travellers required every assistance!

Road sign type standing stones will have the name of the route they pass towards carved on the stone.  Examples around Rosedale include stones marked "Kirby" (for Kirbymoorside); "Pekerin" (for modern day Pickering"); and "Whitby.

Guide stone to whitby rosedale

Ancient Road Sign to Whitby in Rosedale.

Other stones that appear to be "standing" are actually natural rocks that have been left behind by the retreating ice-sheets that reached to the Moors about 10,000 years ago.

But even the "erratics" add to the mystery and intrigue of the standing stones on our North York Moors.

Carlton bank stone

Standing Stones of all types add intrigue to our Landscape.

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