: The Discovery of Lynchets
5th June 2019
Lynchets are terraces formed on sloping ground. The action of ploughing and collecting stones along the edge of the plot builds up ‘steps’ on the hillside. On steep land such
as in the Yorkshire Dales building up terraces by piling stone cleared from the strips under cultivation was a way of increasing the soil depth. The flat areas created were also easier to plough.
Or so I am informed.
there is some resemblance, albeit not in
scale, the terrace on the nose of Pen-y-Ghent
is not man made though man has created a
stone staircase to aid those undertaking
the short but very steep ascent to the summit.
is perhaps just as well that our driver
took the wrong exit at the Junction 36 roundabout,
thereby adding some 12 miles to our journey.
For one thing, driving back down the
Lune valley was interesting, passing en-route
a couple of Romany caravans making their
way to Appleby for the Horse Fair. Also,
it meant that Mike, the other driver, whilst
waiting for us in Clapham, had ample time
to go and buy some butties as he had left
his on the kitchen table. Most all,
however, it meant that by the time we were
ready to start walking, the clag was starting
to clear from the nose of Pen-y-Ghent. It
was unseasonably cold however and threatening
the late start it was just before noon when
we settled out of the wind on the decorated
summit seats for first lunch plus the obligatory
text in such circumstances to tease Tony
who had been unable to join us. I
suppose you could call it a lunchette, which
also has nothing to do with lynchets.
trek along the tops to Plover Hill was a
bit of a trudge, negotiating boggy parts.
our left we could see the silhouette of
comparison, the descent to Foxup Moor was
firm under foot but did include one short
and rather scarey traverse above a cliff
face. Second lunch followed.
was the bulk of the climbing out of the
way and we could look forward to a pleasant
gentle trek along old paths and tarmac back
to the car. Or that is what should
was fine as we rounded Low Bergh with its
view over to the ancient and complex stone
walled field system at Foxup.....
that over to what looked a pleasant hamlet,
we nearer the road, we could see the rain
starting to come in. The next two
and a half miles were hard going. Directly
into the strong wind and heavy rain. The
worst conditions we have been out in for
a long time. It was then we saw the
thought it was glacial erosion from different
ice age periods but Robin assured me that
they were man-made. He told me that according
to the book "Ingleborough Landscape
and History" they are believed to be
of Anglo-Saxon origin.
have seen many such strips over the years.
Some, on level ground were more obviously
old field systems but I have always assumed
that the examples on steep ground like this
were glacial. However they are reminiscent
of Mediterranean type terracing for olive
trees or grape vines. What puzzles
me is the extent of such field workings
given what presumably must have been a very
small medieval population.
conditions been kind, we might have explored
them, but not today.
the weather eased in the last mile back
to the car. So much so that we were
being buzzed, if that is the right word,
by plovers, presumably protecting their
started to re-appear.
day finished at the Craven Heifer at Stainforth.
There are several pubs with that name
in the Yorkshire Dales but we didn't think
this was the finest of them. Still, the
beer was good, the chat convivial and I
left determined to find out more about Lynchets.
Now you know just about as much as I do!
Wednesday 5th June 2019
more about Lynchets see Landscapism
In The Dales