Proddales

Proddale Beck, a tributary of the River Rye, originates in a wooded gill with precipitous sides called Proddales, pronounced Proddles. It is in a very remote area of Snilesworth Moor east of Osmotherley.

Two streams, West Grain and Middle Sike, drain the heather moors above and combine before cascading over the scarp into a plunge pool. Shaded in the gill among the oak, rowan, holly and hawthorn it is truly a magical spot. A bit further along the scarp a third stream, Proddale Sike, makes a second waterfall. And downstream of Proddale Beck, there is yet a third waterfall.

Prod Dales was listed as a farm in a document dated 1637. Old dry stone wall enclosures surround the gill. The ‘farmhouse’ itself was sited above the falls on the boggy ground of Proddale Sike. Sike being a Northern name for a small stream. It is hard to imagine a farm here being productive.

The orange seepage midway up the scarp on the left and also on the right indicate the water contains mineral salts of iron. Such water is known as chalybeate and early in the 17th century, it was said to be good for your health. Among the many believers was the young Princess Victoria who was said to have drunk chalybeate waters every day.

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3 thoughts on “Proddales”

  1. I have been fascinated by this place since I recently found a picture on Geograph. I want to visit but I am unsure which is the best route to get there. Is it better to approach from Bilsdale or from Snilesworth. Regards Paul Buckingham

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