River Esk Walk : The Netherby Estate

os map

What better way to pass a day at a Landmark than to take a walk around the local area? Despite the mud and water surrounding us Ann and I managed to tramp through muddy fields and cross the River Esk to visit a Georgian church, see a Pele Tower, take in views of Netherby Hall, of Coop House from the opposite bank and visit a disused railway station. A longer version of our walk is outlined several times in the property logbooks and enjoyed by many (most) visitors. For us the muddy fields slowed down our progress and in the end, although we were out for a few hours, we didn’t manage to complete it.

bridge notice

suspension bridge

The walk is upstream where a beautiful suspension footbridge awaited to carry us over the raging torrent. Despite the dates of the notices we discovered later that it was totally overhauled and painted just a few years ago. Bravely we edged over it to arrive in the graveyard of St Andrew’s Church, Kirkandrews.

1st view kirkandrews

The Church of St Andrew is the estate church for Netherby Hall, on the other side of the River Esk. It was built in 1776 in red sandstone and is of an unusual rectangular design. The west tower houses a large clock, and this is topped by an open rotunda of columns and a stone cap.


on a sunny day

Photo from the information board – showing the church on a summer’s day

The screen and reredos, Italian in style in green and gold, and rather Comperish, is by Temple Moore.

inside kirkandrewAgain, from the information board as we were unable to gain access to the interior

There are four stained glass windows in the nave, in the 15th Century Rhenish style, probably suggested by Temple Moore who had at that time been involved in the Church re-decoration in 1893. They are probably by Shrigley and Hunt, and depict the Crucifixion, the Adoration of the Magi, the Nativity and Christ and Mary Magdalene in the Garden. The other window in the Church is a view of the Church from the opposite bank of the River Esk.

The sundial clock on St Andrew’s church is dedicated to the safe return of two Graham brothers from World War 1. After darkness light. For our two dear sons FFG & RPG who lived to come home from the great war. Thanks be to God alone.”


Nearby is Kirkandrews Tower, built in the 16th Century as a defensive pele tower.”  [source]

From the Coop House log books I’d made notes about a couple of graves/memorials to look out for. We found “in the churchyard turn right at the first tree” the graves of the Graham family of Netherby Hall (there are many other Graham tombstones) and that of the Smiths who had been the last inhabitants of Coop House in the 1930s.

Graham plot

The Graham Family Plot

smith grave

Henry Smith and family grave

war grave

A Graham War Grave

pele tower

Sixteenth century defensive Pele Tower

From the church we took an occasionally precarious and swampy path across fields (with fine view of the Pele Tower) and through woods until we had the ‘handbook’ view of Coop (except for the brown river and grey sky). We also thought the cars looked a little bit close to the water’s edge!

car a bit near the river

Retracing our steps we took the track behind the church which led towards the main A7 road and a now disused railway station and dismantled track. The former station is now a home and the track would have taken us to another bridge – Thistle Viaduct – but we deemed it time to return for a late lunch.

former stn

Former Station and Track

speed and comfort

We retraced our steps back to the church and over the suspension bridge and returned to dear and dry Coop House.

braving the bridge

Over we go again!


2 comments on “River Esk Walk : The Netherby Estate

  1. nilly says:

    I love the Georgian Church. The cupola reminds me of All Saints, Brandsby, near Easingwold and the scale of the building is similar to St Helen, Denton, near ilkley – both built in the 1770s, I believe.
    I wonder if you have seen these on your wanderings?

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