While my in-laws were living there, for many years North Yorkshire was the place to go for the summer holiday. And one of my favourite spots is the top of Sutton Bank, between Ripon and Thirsk.
It marks a high point in the Hambleton Hills, overlooking the Vale of York and the Vale of Mowbray. I think I was looking south west towards Harrogate for these views, which would mean Thirsk would be to the far right (west) and York to the far left (south)…
Scroll down for something about a white horse and some wooden mice, but meanwhile here are lots of other bits of the view…
Sutton Bank is not far from the famous Kilburn white horse, a figure cut in 1857 after local man Thomas Taylor was inspired by a visit to the prehistoric Uffington white horse in Oxfordshire (although it used to be in Berkshire). I featured the wonderful stylised Uffington horse in a previous post here.
While Uffington white horse is carved from the limestone (chalk) hillside, the Kilburn version is an artificial construction on a sandstone hill, with the topsoil stripped away and white limestone chips added.
Kilburn is also home to the Robert Thompson Mouseman furniture factory.
According to the official site, Robert Thompson was born in 1876 and dedicated his life to the craft of carving and joinery in English Oak. He taught himself to use the traditional tools and by 1919 was experimenting with his own ideas for producing furniture based on the English styles of the 17th century.
But he is most famous as the “mouse man”, as much of his work included a little carved mouse motif. Some of his earliest mice are in the parish church in Kilburn. He died in 1955 but the mouse lives on, carved by his descendants.
When we visited, we wanted a souvenir, so bought the smallest thing we liked (and could afford), which was an oak nut bowl. Every time we look at it we think of Kilburn, and Sutton Bank, and North Yorkshire generally…
For the record, most of the pictures on this page were taken in August 2008 – I hope the view is still there!