Archaeological and Historical Society
Trods of the North York Moors:
A Gazetteer of Flagged Paths
By Chris Evans
Foreword by Graham Lee,
Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer,
North York Moors National Park Authority
Anyone who has walked on the North York Moors has come across flagged paths, or trods. Once commonplace, trods have been fast disappearing since 1900 when photographers such as Frank Sutcliffe and Tom Watson captured their ubiquity in villages, along dales and on the moors. Although archaeologists, cartographers and historians now view the trods of the North York Moors as an integral feature of the area’s economic and industrial history, pinning down their exact locations and history of use has been difficult due to their destruction in recent times.
Based on the author’s extensive fieldwork and documentary research, this book provides accurate and up-to-date mapping of the remaining flagstone paths and charts their likely locations in the past. The author has identified 19 ‘long’ trods which run for miles northeast to southwest; trods which follow the north and south banks of the Esk; those which cross dales; trods leading to farms, mills and churches; and innumerable scattered trods.
Each of the long trods is accompanied by a full-colour map and commentary which gives the exact OS grid references of extant, reported and extrapolated trods. In an introductory section Chris Evans sifts through the evidence concerning the dates, from medieval times through the seventeenth century, of the trods’ construction, and their relationship to other features of the North York Moors’ landscape such as crosses and waymarks to give the reader an informed picture of why the trods were built, by whom, and for what purpose. Two pages of historical and contemporary photographs illustrate the text.
Trods of the North York Moors contributes to the preservation of the existing flagged paths by charting their exact locations and by explaining to readers – be they walkers, archaeologists, historians or geographers – the unique nature of their historical significance.
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Trods of the North York Moors is published by the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society.back to the top