Aysgarth to Middleham 8th August 2014 (Abbey Amble Day 7)
This section of the walk starts with the Aysgarth Falls before heading away from the river towards the village of Castle Bolton and ending the day at Middleham Castle. It is a gentle 16km following the river Ure to Middleham.
These are a triple flight of waterfalls on the River Ure over a one mile stretch. The falls are fast flowing, especially during wet weather, as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps. Aysgarth Falls is a popular tourist attraction.
The castle was built between 1378 and 1399 by Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Bolton and Chancellor of England, and is an example of a quadrangular castle. The licence to build it was granted in July 1379 and a contract with the mason Johan Lewyn was made in September 1378. Construction was reputed to cost 18,000 Marks. The 16th century writer John Leland described ‘An Astronomical Clock’ in the courtyard and how smoke was conveyed from the hearth in the hall through tunnels. Bolton Castle was described by Sir Francis Knollys as having ‘The highest walls of any house he had seen’.
In 1536 Sir John Scrope, 8th Baron Scrope of Bolton supported the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion against the religious reforms of King Henry VIII and gave Adam Sedbar, Abbot of Jervaulx sanctuary in the castle. In consequence John Scrope had to flee to Skipton pursued by the King’s men but Abbot Sedbar was caught and executed. In retribution the king ordered Bolton castle to be torched, causing extensive damage. Within a few years the damage had been repaired and Sir John had regained his seat in Parliament.
Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, in the county of North Yorkshire, England, was built by Robert Fitzrandolph, 3rd Lord of Middlehamand Spennithorne, commencing in 1190. It was built near the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle. In 1270 it came into the hands of the Neville family, the most notable member of which was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to history as the “Kingmaker”, a leading figure in the Wars of the Roses. The castle is a ruin after having been dismantled in 1646.
Today the town is a centre of horse racing and home to the Middleham Trainers’ Association. The first racehorse trainer at Middleham was Isaac Cape in 1765. Racing is the number one employer in the town and tourism is the second.
Total Distance 16.4km
Total Time 5:00 hrs
Ave Moving Time 4.37km
Ave Speed 3.3km
Total Ascent 359m
Total Descent 381m