Friday, 30 September 2011

York military railway

River Ouse looking downstream from the Millennium bridge towards the old Terry's factory

An Indian Summer set in over the UK and Val and I decided to take Friday off from work and walk across the Knavesmire and then follow the River Ouse up into the city of York.

Once we had crossed the Millennium Bridge to the right bank of the river (heading upstream) I came across a feature that I had been told about but until recently had never been able to find. Now I know where it is I can't miss it and wonder how I ever did!

The remains of the military railway narrow railway looking towards the bricked gateway

That feature is the military light railway constructed to run from a wharf on the River Ouse (sadly now lost) to run into the military supply depot and army hospital that existed a short distance away. The railway was constructed in 1888 to move supplies brought by river from London. I don't sadly know when the feature was abandoned and the gateway into the establishment bricked up.

The River Ouse looking upstream towards Skeldergate Bridge with the River Foss confluence on the right.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Castlerigg stone circle

Recently returned from a week in the Lake District. On one of the hills outside Keswick is a stone circle called Castlerigg.

The stones are of a local metamorphic slate, set in a flattened circle, measuring 32.6 m (107 ft) at its widest and 29.5 m (97 ft) at its narrowest. The heaviest stone has been estimated to weigh around 16 tons and the tallest stone measures approximately 2.3m high. There is a 3.3m wide gap in its northern edge, which may have been an entrance. Within the circle, abutting its eastern quadrant, is a roughly rectangular setting of a further 10 stones. The circle was probably constructed around 3200 BC (Late Neolithic/Early Bronze-Age), making it one of the earliest stone circles in Britain and possibly in Europe.

It is important to archaeoastronomers who have noted that the sunrise during the Autumn equinox appears over the top of Threlkeld Knott, a hill 3.5 km to the east.

Recently a Roman fort has been discovered to the south of the stone circle, dissected by the narrow track. Nothing above ground is visible and it is hard to see how the presence of te fort influenced the name of the area as some have suggested.