Pond on Great Ayton Moor

For all the whinging about the British weather there are not many days in the year when I actually end up running in the rain. I did so this morning. With poor visibility I headed up onto Great Ayton Moor intending to look at the heather and ended up by this pond. I’m not sure if it’s natural or manmade. I suspect the latter but it has no name on the Ordnance Survey map.

It’s quite easy to find. The lone self sown larch tree gives it away in the sea of heather. The banks are covered with rushes which are unpalatable to sheep. In 1709 a tax was levied on candles. Consequently, rushes were collected to make rushlights. They were dried and peeled to expose the inner pith which was soaked in animal fat to make a sort of taper. The tax was abolished in 1831.

 

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