From Booze Moor to the Land of the Prince Bishops

Booze Moor, Whaw, High Faggergill, Low Faggergill, Hoove and Stang….

….how I love Yorkshire Place names.

This small section from my road atlas covers an area of about 5 square miles (that’s out of the 4,500 square miles which the County of Yorkshire covers):

Yorkshire Place Names, Booze, Whaw, Stang, Arkengarthdale

Yorkshire Place Names 1 ©Philip’s Road Atlas

The dotted line at the top of the map shows the border between the counties of Yorkshire and Durham.

This week we spent a whole day driving (meandering) the 60 or so miles from Lancashire, through the Yorkshire Dales en route to Barnard Castle in County Durham.

We’d arranged to meet up for dinner with friends from Scotland who are touring in North-east England . So why not make a two-day holiday out of it? That’s just what we did!

The roads were quiet as the tourist season doesn’t appear to have gotten into full swing yet. And the sun was shining. Perfect!

This short section of our route is pretty representative of the drive:

After a steep climb over Turf Moor, we crossed the Arkle Beck by means of a narrow, little  bridge. Then downhill with Seal Houses Moor on our left and Booze Moor on our right we came to the brow of the hill at Stang Top where we saw this sign:


County Durham SignLand of the Prince Bishops, landscape, road , hills, landscape

Land of the Prince Bishops ©HelenBushe


What on earth are Prince Bishops?

I’d never heard of them either!

Prince Bishops in England date back to the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, when William from Normandy in France  killed King Harold and assumed the English throne.

Durham’s political importance lay in the fact that it was a buffer state between England and Scotland. After two unsuccessful attempts to send an earl to govern this border region, the English king came up with the solution of giving the bishop of Durham secular powers, and therefore the responsibility for protecting English interests, in return for allegiance. – Durham World Heritage Site

From 1075, the Bishop of Durham became a Prince-Bishop, with the right to raise an army, mint his own coins, and levy taxes. As long as he remained loyal to the king of England, he could govern as a virtually autonomous ruler, reaping the revenue from his territory, but also remaining mindful of his role of protecting England’s northern frontier. –Durham World Heritage Site


Once we were into County Durham it was a short drive to the town of Barnard Castle.

We had time for a short visit to the 12th Century castle before checking into our accommodation which was a (haunted) 17th Century inn.

We were only away from home from 10.00 am on Thursday to 6.00 pm on Friday. It is as amazing as much as it is tiring  how much we can pack into 32 hours – and how many blog posts might come out of it too.

Barnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 1 ©HelenBushe


Barnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 2 ©HelenBushe


Barnard CastleBarnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 3 ©HelenBushe


Barnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 4 ©HelenBushe


Barnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 5 ©HelenBushe


Barnard Castle ,12thCentury, County Durham, ruin,

Barnard Castle 6 ©HelenBushe


There will be more posts about this mini-trip, but that’s enough for today!

Welcome to Barnard Castle Historic market Town

Welcome to Barnard Castle ©SWH

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