Boundary Stone on Cringley Moor

I have mentioned before my discovery on the 1853 Ordnance Survey map that the hill on the right is shown covered in trees and named Mount Vittoria Plantation. It’s modern name being Cold Moor. The boundary stone is inscribed with an ‘E’ and is on the east flank of Cringle Moor which according to the same 1853 O.S. map was named as Cringley Moor.

An overcast morning, with the tops just a few metres below the cloud base. Both moors are on popular walking routes, traversed by the Cleveland Way, but I saw only one person today. Far left, across the vale of Cleveland, is Roseberry Topping.


Carol singers on Cold Moor

Overlooking the lights of Teesside, a singalong on Cold Moor (or Mount Vittoria).

The Miners’ Track

The short climbs over the three bumps, Cringle Moor, Hasty Bank and Cold Moor, can be avoided by using the Jet Miners’ Track which vaguely contours around the hillside following the strata in which jet is found. It’s quite a muddy track, following the tree line and staying within the shade.

Jet is the fossilised remains of the monkey puzzle tree dating from the Jurassic period. It’s a hard black material easily carved into jewellery and made famous by Queen Victoria when she went into mourning following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. That fashion lasted a mere twenty years but jet has long been valued for its ornamental, superstitious and supposed medicinal qualities. Pieces have been found in archaeological digs and dated to 2,000 B.C. but these would probably have been found as pebbles on beaches. Yorkshire jet has been found on Roman sites in Europe. Jet mined from the Cleveland Hills would have found its way to Whitby which in the 19c became well known for its jet trade.

Mount Vittoria

A narrow ridge of heather moorland. But the Ordnance Survey six-inch map of 1857 records a plantation here by the name of Mount Vittoria Plantation. There is no sign of any trees now and indeed on the 1895 edition the name had been removed. But the name intrigues me. Where did it come from?

Vittoria is Italian for Victoria. In 1857 of course Queen Victoria had been on the throne for twenty years. A plantation could well have been planted to commemorate her coronation. But then why Italian?

There is a Mount Vittoria in Australia. It was a penal colony. The 4th Foot Lancaster King’s Own Regiment was stationed there during the 1830s as convict guards. Maybe a North Yorkshire lad somehow found himself down under; as guard or convict?

But I would suggest both places were named after the Battle of Vittoria when, in 1813, Wellington’s forces routed the French under Bonaparte in Spain. Perhaps there was a local soldier involved or perhaps the victory was just in the public psyche.

So where is it this Mount Vittoria. I leave that as a challenge for you. It shouldn’t be too difficult if you know the North York Moors. But here’s the link to the modern map if you give up.