Villages and Churches of Upper Nidderdale, Part 2

Subtitled : Learn some of the history of the villages of Upper Nidderdale.

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to another year of rambles (in more senses than one!)

Arriving at Ramsgill

Dalesbus arriving at Ramsgill in Nidderdale

Such a pity that I missed Part 1! But I had never heard of Dalesbus Ramblers when that walk took place. At the end of last year I discovered walking with the Friends of the Settle – Carlisle Line and one the leaders told me about Dalesbus Ramblers so today I drove to Harrogate and joined my first walk with that particular group. With my new Metro Concession Bus Pass I enjoyed free travel from Harrogate up through Nidderdale where the group assembled for the walk:

Learn some of the history of the villages of Upper Nidderdale.
Start: Ramsgill: 11.05
Finish: Pateley Bridge: Approx: 14.20
Distance/Grading: 5 miles / Moderate
TRAVEL: Outward: Bus 823/825 from York (08.58), Tadcaster (09.20), Wetherby (09.40), Harrogate (10.05) and Pateley Bridge (10.50). Connections on bus 36 from Leeds (09.15) to Harrogate or Ripon (09.45) to Ripley.
Return: Bus 24 to Harrogate for onward connections.
Walk Leaders: Duncan & Brenda: 0796 951 2743

Naturally, our first church call was at St Mary the Virgin, Ramsgill just across the road from the bus stop.

St Mary's Ramsgill

St Mary the Virgin, Ramsgill

Most of the 20 or so houses in Ramsgill were built in the 19th century and the church was built in 1899 but on the much older site of a grange of Easby Abbey. The remains of the Abbey buildings are  behind the present church.

Easby grange

Remains of Easby Grange, Ramsgill

We also found out that Ramsgill had been one of the film locations for the 1997 movie ‘Fairy Tale: a true story‘ about the two little girls in Cottingley, near Bradford, who in 1917 took a photograph believed by some to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies [The Cottingley Fairies]. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of those who believed this to be true.

Ramsgill scenes :

Village Hall

Ramsgill Village Hall

Ramsgill Houses

Ramsgill Houses

Yorke Arms

The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill

So we moved from Ramsgill to Bouthwaite where we came across our second church – the Wesley Chapel built in 1890 and joined the Nidderdale Way down to Pateley Bridge.

Bouthwaite chapel

Bouthwaite Chapel


Wesley Chapel, Bouthwaite

Ramsgill and Bouthwaite lie less than a mile apart at the head of Gouthwaite Reservoir. Our walk continued down the valley parallel with the reservoir and mostly overlooking it as far as Wath which lies at the southern end of the 3 mile long body of water.

Gouthwaite 1

Gouthwaite Reservoir lunch stop

Gouthwaite 2

Looking back up Gouthwaite

Gouthwaite 3

Gouthwaite and the Nidderdale Way

Gouthwaite 4

Gouthwaite Dam

The small Wesleyan chapel at Wath seats just 50 and has 5 walls. It also has links with Rudyard Kipling whose grandfather was once minister here.

Wath chapel

Walkers stop at Wath Chapel

Wath and chapel

Wath and Chapel

From Wath our path joined the trackbed of the former Nidderdale Light Railway to our destination Pateley Bridge where there was just time to have a well-deserved cuppa before catching our return bus to Harrogate. The Dalesbus system, which operates on Sundays with limited winter timetables, enables walkers and others to reach more remote and beautiful areas in North Yorkshire and I hope to make more such excursions during the year.

Old rail track

The track of the former Nidderdale Railway track approaching Pateley Bridge


6 comments on “Villages and Churches of Upper Nidderdale, Part 2

  1. nilly says:

    It’s ages since we’ve ventured up here – I wonder if Janet Street-Porter still has a house at Lofthouse? Easby Church (St Agatha’s) near Easby Abbey, Richmond is worth a visit too – it has some good medieval wall paintings.
    We greatly enjoyed Edith in the Dark – thank you for the info. We’re on the theatre mailing list now and hope for more literary treats!

    • Well, it’s worth another visit some time, Nilly. According to Duncan our leader, yes, JSP still has a place at Lofthouse (I asked him). Easby is also on my ‘list’. Glad you enjoyed Edith.

  2. I enjoyed your photos and day out. It looks very much like Tasmania where I live. What a lovely day out.

  3. […] a difference a day makes! Well, most of the day anyway. Sunday’s walk was with The Dalesbus Ramblers again. It was another visit to Nidderdale but much lower down the dale and just a short bus journey […]

  4. […] St Chad’s, Middlesmoor and view to Gouthwaite […]

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