Greenhow Botton

Most of the steep banks guarding the western edge of the North York Moors take their name from the community or parish at their foot so we have Ingleby Bank and Greenhow Bank. Jackson’s Bank, overlooking the flat valley of Greenhow Botton is an exception although I’ve no idea who Jackson was. Botton is old Scandanavian word for a flat bottomed valley.

Known locally as Midnight Corner supposedly because in winter the sun doesn’t reach the north facing valley. But this observation must have been around for sometime, a Midnight House is shown on the 1857 Ordnance Survey map below a Midnight Wood.

Across the valley the Ingleby Incline can be seen diagonally climbing Greenhow Bank, opened in 1861 to carry ironstone from Rosedale to the furnaces at Ferryhill. Below the incline, in the centre of the photo is Old Sheepfold Farm, to give it its modern name, and to its right the buildings of an outdoor centre can just be made out. This was built on the site of another farm called Siberia, at the foot of an earlier incline climbing up to the Ingleby Ironstone Mine, a short lived venture lasting just four years from 1856 to 1860. The navvies who built the original branch railway and incline lived in a temporary camp in the fields around the centre. This scheme must have been only just complete before the navvies went on to upgrade the railway and build the new incline to Rosedale.

On the steep slopes much of the forestry, planted after World War I to provide a strategic timber resource for the country, is being felled. Hopefully native trees, alder, rowan, willow, oak and birch, will be planted in their place creating varying habitats for wildlife and plants.


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