We first went into Rosedale Abbey where services are still held. There was a lovely tapestry hanging inside, old wooden pews, and a beautiful altar. Then we wandered the village itself, with its row houses beautifully decorated with climbing roses and other exquisite gardens. Entering what we thought was a china shop, we discovered Mr. Gillies Jones working on his stunning glassworks! He uses buildings built in 1827 that were used by village blacksmiths. We had a lovely time admiring his absolutely stunning works but I was disappointed that I couldn't buy anything - because of the fragility of his pieces (and the cost was quite dear!). To see his website click here.
After lunching at "Graze on the Green", we took a tootle around the countryside to see the moors full of sheep and the old iron mine entrances. They really are quite impressive! We also saw farmyards with outbuildings, the old railway line, which was an impressive feat of engineering, built in the 1860s and winding 14 miles over the moors, across difficult terrain.
From 1855 until 1926 the entire area rang with the sound of the Victorian industrial age. The valley was transformed with the opening of the ironstone mines, especially because of the building of giant roasting kilns, where the miners roasted the iron ore to reduce its weight for transportation and remove impurities. Vast quantities of ore were tipped into the kilns from the railway line above, mixed with coal and then set alight. A huge workforce was needed and the population of Rosedale increased rapidly to nearly 3000 people – more than ten times what it is today. Terraced houses in the dale were built for the miners, while the railwaymen occupied homes closer to the mines – you can still see their ruined remains.
Now you know a bit about the village and area of Rosedale, I'd like to present a short musical slideshow so you can actually "see" some of it. Hope you enjoy it. And with that, a resounding thanks to Mrs. Nesbit, Roger, and the team at ABC Wednesday for their unending work in keeping ABCW one of the longest running and most popular meme on the internet today.
Note: all photographs were taken by me except for the ones of Gillies Jones and his studio and glassworks. Please see his website here.