"There must be dales in Paradise
Which you and I will find.."

Sunday 7 July 2024


Newton-under-Roseberry to

Old Nunthorpe

7.5 miles                      Fine and dry

Tom Scott Burns suggests parking at Newton-under-Roseberry but in the last couple of years free parking has ceased in the village.  Instead we decided to begin the walk at Nunthorpe, where there is ample free parking and which would make Roseberry Topping our half way point.

Today's walk from The Walker's Guide to the Cleveland Hills

It's over 5 years since I last did this gentle walk which I reckoned  would be a good one to try out my foot, still convalescing from a plantar faciitis injury.

We parked at St Mary's church, not shown in the map above and situated where the church would occupy the top right on the lane leading to Morton Carr Farm.  We set off along Church Lane to join the official route.

Roseberry Topping from the start of our walk

St Mary's Church, Nunthorpe

Carole sets off down Church Lane

Wild roses

Morton Carr Farm

TSB reports that Carr is a Norse word for a marshy piece of land, and these lowland meadows, drained by numerous stells, are certainly marshy.  We passed by Morton Carr Farm and turned right at its outbuildings and walked across fields towards Eastfield Farm.

Outbuildings at Morton Carr Farm

Following a faint grass track through Morton Carr farmland

Crossing one of several bridges across stells

The path appears little walked

Our destination ahead

We went across more fields until we reached the Middlesbrough to Whitby line where the path runs under a stone bridge holding the line.

Crossing Main Stell

The Middlesbrough to Whitby line crosses the bridge

Walking over several more fields brought us to the outskirts of Newton-under-Roseberry.  To our left was St Oswald's Church, unfortunately locked today, as it always seems to be when we call by.  This ancient church has an Anglo-Saxon carved stone set in the tower of the church showing a dragon and some sort of quadruped.  Tom Scott Burns says that this stone was actually described in an eleventh century book called 'Bestiaries'. It's interesting to think of what the carver must have looked like and what this area would have been like at that time.

St Oswald's Church

Anglo Saxon carving

Leaving the church we crossed Newton green which brought us to the Guisborough to Great Ayton road opposite the Kings Head Inn.  In his walker's guide Tom Scott Burns informs us that the King's Head dates back to 1796 and was run by an old woman known as 'Old Gag Mally Wright'  who started a fair in the village and was a 'handy body' who acted as midwife and also laid out the dead. Locals said she 'tied up t' jaws of t' dying afore tha wur deead'.  

Crossing Newton Green

The King's Head, Newton-under-Roseberry

We turned in to Roseberry Lane and walked towards the distinctive shape of Roseberry Topping.  There are quite a few local legends concerning the hill. 
TSB recounts the story of a Northumbrian princess who had been warned by an astrologer that her son Oswy would be drowned on a certain day.  To avoid this she took the child to the summit of Roseberry Topping where he would surely be safe from that fate. While she slept the child wandered off and fell down a well, situated on the north eastern slope of Roseberry, so fulfilling the prophecy, which led the princess to kill herself.  Mother and child were buried together and 'Os by his mother lay' and so the village of Osmotherly gained its name.   

Roseberry is believed to have been held in special regard by the Vikings who settled here and gave the area many of its place names. They gave Roseberry Topping its present name: first attested in 1119 as Othenesberg, (Othenes (personal name) rock, or Odin's rock).   The name changed successively to Othensberg, Ohenseberg, Ounsberry and Ouesberry before finally settling on Roseberry, this means that Roseberry Topping is one of only a handful of known pagan names in England, being named after the Norse God Odin.
See:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseberry_Topping       

The hill was mined for iron ore between 1880 and 1926 and in 1912 the mining caused a landslip that gave the hill its distinctive shape.  Paths are being upgraded at the moment so we followed the diversion signs west to walk up to the folly built on its western slope.

Roseberry Lane

We follow the signs

Up through the woods

Moor Gate 

The Shooting Box aka Wilson's Folly

We walked back down from the Shooting Box to Newton Wood where we paused on a convnient bench to enjoy coffee and scones.


Scones al fresco

Refreshed we walked through Newton Wood to reach Quarry Lane, which if we turned left would take us to Cliff Rigg Quarry, where whinstone was mined until the last century.  We turned right, however, and walked down the lane to reach the Ayton to Guisborough road where we turned right again.  We had to walk along this busy road for about a quarter of a mile until we turned left into a lane alongside the Cleveland Mountain Rescue buildings.

Descending through Newton Wood

Quarter of a mile on tarmac

Turn left, the white building is Cleveland Mountain Rescue HQ

We walked along this lane which runs parallel to the old rail bed to Langbaurgh Quarry. We passed by the old workings of Nunthorpe Quarries where signs warned us of mine shafts and unstable ground.

These quarries, Cliff Rigg, Langbaurgh and Nunthorpe, are all set on a ridge of whinstone that runs down to Quarry Hill Farm, and are all now disused.  We emerged from the trees that surround the old Nunthorpe Quarry to find ourselves walking briefly among the out-buildings of the Whinstone View Hotel, before crossing a stell by a small bridge into fields, where the track follows the field line. 

The ridge of whinstone to our left

Looking back to Roseberry

Grazing cattle showed little interest in us

Woods near Nunthorpe Quarries

We emerge from the woods at the Whinstone View Hotel

Crossing Nunthorpe Stell

Our unwalked footpath follows the field line

As so often with TSB walks there was little sign of a path and our route could only be discerned by looking for yellow way-marks.  

Carole watches a hare, just visible in my phone photo

Lots of Ringlet butterflies...

Brambles and Bind Weed are favourite habitats of Ringlets

Eventually we passed Quarry Hill Farm, almost invisible amongst foliage, and crossed the A179 road and walked over a horse field to some stables where we joined the road which runs through Old Nunthorpe.  

Footpath by the A179

The horses weren't interested in us

We arrive at Nunthorpe

The original name of the village was Torp which was amended to Nunthorpe in the early 12th century in honour of a Cistercian Nunnery.  In 1231 the nunnery moved to Baysdale.

We walked past the old Hall, now a residential home, and turned into a footpath alongside Hall Farm which has been unoccupied for the last seven years.  The farm is apparently owned by Middlesbrough Council who are attempting to sell it.  Passing through the old farm buildings we paused to admire the family history mural painted by the last occupants of the farm.

Nunthorpe Hall

Walking through Nunthorpe

Turn right at the footpath sign into farm buildings


The farming family moved to Bishop Burton but left this charming mural

After the farm buildings we re-crossed the A179 and entered fields to join a farm track to the new white buildings of Morton Carr Farm.  Here we turned left and walked back up Church Lane to the car.  We agreed that this is a nice walk for a summer's day.

Carole sniffs the wild honeysuckle bush

Looking back at the now distant Roseberry

Straight across the field

At the new farmhouse, turn left

... and walk back to the car


  1. Good to see you are walking again Huw keep it up

  2. πŸ‘πŸ˜Š thanks Rog!

  3. Yes Huw, great to see you back out walking again. great blog πŸ‘

    1. Thanks Robert πŸ‘πŸ¦ΆπŸ˜Š