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7. The Village of Osmotherley, its Parish Church and a Mount Grace Priory Circular Walk

The weather was pretty grey to start with, BUT, blue skies appeared later and a beautiful end to a grand walking day!

There is a useful starting point car park just north-east of Cod Beck Reservoir by the west side of Crabdale Beck (Osmotherley can be a bit crowded, especially in the summer).


You cross the beck and head south-east-south around the woods and then head almost due south down the track marked as "Green Lane". You continue south past Rocky Plain (ruined building) eventually turning right (west) to pass by Whitehouse Farm.


Osmotherley coming into sight, viewed from the top of Middlestye Bank.


The track down to Osmotherley has a medieval sunken road feel to it and you cross a footbridge to enter the village near the War Memorial.

The village of Osmotherley comprises many stone cottages, a medieval church, several cafes, pubs, hotels and B & B etc. and a Methodist Chapel of 1754 (bottom left).


A mosaic illustrating the wildlife around Osmotherley is in the entrance to the village hall.


St Peter's Church, Osmotherley, is built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon Church.


The exterior of St Peter's from west (left) to east (right) - 14th century Perpendicular church tower, south door, nave and chancel.


The Norman south doorway with characteristic chevron (zigzag) and beakhead carvings or mouldings


Fragments of carved Anglo-Saxon stones.


Looking east down the nave to the chancel and altar. On the right is the south aisle with its arches and bays.


Stained glass windows - all Victorian?




An old, but nicely carved tomb, with the red roofs of the villages houses behind.


Osmotherley is quite a large village, more like a small town, but not too big and built around a triangular green in which stands a modern cross and a large stone slab or table that was used as a market stand - for butter?


We headed north out of the village on the Cod Beck Reservoir road and soon turning left towards Siddle Farm. At Chapel Wood Farm we diverted left down to Mount Grace Priory.


On reaching Mount Grace Priory (Charterhouse founded in 1398), the sun shone on the righteous! The building above was the principal house of the prior and guests and subsequently converted to a private house in 1654, the building would have lost its importance after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the late 1530's.


Mount Grace Priory Church.



Most of the buildings seen today date from the late 15th century and in its ground design were included two terraces, sophisticated drainage and piped clean water to every cell.




Some great stonework of the medieval building still survives with pointed arches, pillars and carved capitals.




The six pictures above illustrate the life of a Carthusian monk at Mount Grace Priory - small garden and cell (entrance shown in middle right picture), simple furniture, bed, loom etc. They could live an almost self-contained life, and very sustainable!


Bits of older stonework are part of 17th and 19th/early 20th century additions to the gatehouse and range.


 Mount Grace Priory has the typical plan of a medieval Charterhouse based on the enclosures of the Cloister and the Inner Court. Between them was the church and the Prior's cell and the Prior was the only member of this religious community allowed access to the outside world and was responsible for the management of the social and religious affairs of the community.


The current entrance.


Some of the 17th century facade.


The lower gardens of Mount Grace Priory.


Leaving Mount Grace Priory we retraced our steps back up to Chapel Wood Farm and headed north on the Cleveland Way passed the WT and TV station and on to the east of Arncliffe Wood.


Welcome to Scarth Wood Moor and looking north-east to the Cleveland Hills.




Stone trod, still heading north-east.


Looking west.


Remains of a cross? before swing round to head south on the Cod Beck Reservoir and Osmotherley road.


Heading south on the Osmotherley road in the late afternoon autumnal sunlight.


The car park and Cod Beck Reservoir.


The car park at the autumn sunset - beautiful red-brown-orange colours of the 'dead' bracken.


Mount Grace Priory is a beautiful set of ruins and medieval buildings below the edge of the North York Moors in the Vale of York. There is only a drinks machine BUT what a place to take a quiet break from the busy A19 main road. There is also an interesting display on the history of the Priory.



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Osmotherley, North Yorkshire, England: Plenty of 'watering holes' in Osmotherley. From top-left clockwise: The Coffee Pot, The Golden Lion, The Queen Catherine Hotel and The Three Tuns. Stroll around and take in the old buildings including (from top-middle clockwise) the medieval church, the Methodist Chapel (1754), Old Forge Cottage and the replacement 'medieval' cross and market stone slab.


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