Home » Yorkshire » Knaresborough » A change of direction – part one

A change of direction – part one

Sunday night 21st October, the campsite was booked and the motorhome all prepared for our planned holiday to the south coast, to visit our eldest daughter.
We had originally planned to set off on the Sunday morning, but as the campsite had been fully booked for that night, we had to delay the trip by a day, so hence everything was ready for an early start on the Monday……or so we thought!

The early hours of Monday morning, I was woken by the phone ringing, it was Harrogate hospital, my mum had been rushed in with chest and stomach pains, she was waiting for a scan, and they would let me know as soon as they had more information.
At 10am, with no news from the hospital, I phoned them, to be told they suspected my mum had had a heart attack, it wasn’t a bad one, but the doctors still recommended it would be a good idea to travel up to Yorkshire to see her.

To make matters worse, my mum was panicking as she’d left Cindy, her Yorkshire terrier home alone, and the hospital wanted to send the police in to collect her and take her to a rescue centre.

Here started my mad panic!
Frantically searching directory enquiries for neighbours phone numbers, I eventually located one of her friends (S) who offered to pick up mum’s house key from the hospital and collect Cindy.
30 minutes later I got a call from S, she was at my mums house, but Cindy wasn’t there. 😮

OMG, all sorts of things were flashing through my mind, had Cindy escaped as the paramedics had taken my mum out, how on earth would I explain that to mum, with her heart in a fragile state.
S said she’d start knocking the neighbours doors to see if anyone knew anything.
In the meantime, T and I unpacked the motorhome, and loaded up the discovery ready for our journey north.

It seemed a lifetime, but was probably only about fifteen minutes, S phoned back. Cindy was with D&K (mums neighbours opposite), they’d noticed my mums curtains closed, and fearing the worst, had let themselves in (they have a key) to see if my mum was OK, found Cindy alone, so taken her back to their house.

After a three hour drive, we arrived in Harrogate, collected Cindy (and a very welcome lasagne that K had cooked) from D&K, and settled into my mums house.
I visited her that night, and was quite relieved to see her sitting up in bed, and quite chatty.

Tuesday, with visiting hours twice a day, we did the afternoon and evening, with mum looking better by the minute.

Wednesday, we felt happy enough to venture further afield.

The morning we decided we take the dogs to Swinsty reservoir for a walk, we also wanted to check my dad’s seat was still in good repair.

T, Sal, Jasp and Cindy checking the seat, well I don’t know about Sal, she appears to have found something more interesting the rabbits have left.

My dad’s seat overlooking Swinsty reservoir

The seat looks out over Swinsty reservoir, the walk around the reservoir is just over three miles, and was a favourite walk for my mum and dad for many years. In fact, my dad totally astounded me, when he walked the whole way round only four months before lung cancer took him.

Knaresborough was on the cards for the afternoon, so leaving the dogs behind, and being extremely lazy ourselves, as it is only a mile away, we caught the bus at the end of the road into the town.

The East Gate

We explored the old castle ruins, something I’ve done many times before, and still enjoy doing.

Knaresborough castle is steeped in history, I won’t go into detail on here, as there is a website on Knaresborough which is full of information.

The Kings Tower toilet shaft

This is the toilet shaft from the Kings Tower, it leads from the room called the garderobe. I guess hundreds of years ago, everything coming down this shute, would go directly into the river Nidd below.

rail bridge over the Nidd

We continued walking round the castle grounds, which tower above the river below, and looked down onto the famous rail bridge. This bridge is a well know landmark of Knaresborough, always found on postcards, often on jigsaws……..

Roughseas painting of Knaresborough

…….and paintings………  Roughseas kindly sent me this photo of the painting that is mentioned in her Art for arts sake (2)

Stone steps lead down from the ruins to the narrow road below which is just visible in the photo above. Once down the steps, we set of towards Low Bridge, where there is an amazing pub called the Dropping Well.

This pub is truly steeped in history,  with royalty from many countries taking it’s ales over many hundreds of years.

Just to the rear of the pub, is Mothers Shipton’s cave. Ursula Southeil (Mother Shipton), supposedly born in the cave during a violent storm as lightening crackled, is a well know prophetess of the area.

A little more info is here: Mother Shipton

The interior of the pub houses an old oak table, belonging to Guy Fawkes, T insisted I took a photo of his pint on the table.

After being suitably refreshed, we set off back into the town, ready for the bus back to my mum”s house.

Walking through the town, we noticed many of the buildings have had windows painted on them with famous people looking out. These painted bricked up windows were probably a throw back to the window tax which wasn’t abolished until 1851.

Here’s a snippet from Wiki, regarding this odd tax:

The window tax was a property tax based on the number of  windows in a house. It was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England, France and Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries. To avoid the tax some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed at a later date), as a result of the tax. It was introduced in 1696 and was repealed in 1851, 156 years after first being introduced. Spain and France both had window taxes as well for similar reasons.

more info can be read here.

I visited my mum that evening to find she’d been moved out of the cardio ward and into the general ladies ward, so everything was going in the right direction.

To be continued…….


8 thoughts on “A change of direction – part one

  1. I hope the news for your mum continues to improve 🙂 and I love that you took the opportunity even though your planned break was cancelled to make the best of it, and Cindy looks like she is happy to have Jasp & Sal for canine company. The first thing that grabbed me was your Dad’s seat by the reservoir… beautiful. Then the images of Knaresborough just mesmerised me… the history is palpable. I particularly liked the railway bridge, so tall, giving the appearance of a toy town below, and the Dropping Well. I love old pubs, although of course Australia’s will never be this old, they have such a wonderful smell & feel. That was a great start to my Sunday morning… I feel like I’ve had a little journey, and I’m still in my dressing gown 😉

    • Thank you ED 🙂
      We tried to make the most of a bad situation, it wasn’t quite the stress free break I was looking forward to, but still enjoyable. Two more days out to follow in part two 🙂

      The three dogs get on very well, and yes, I think you’re right, Cindy did enjoy their company.

      You’d have loved the Dropping Well, we were talking to the landlady, who knew all it’s history, I was hoping there may have been a website on it, but she admitted to not been too hot in that type of thing, a shame, as her knowledge was amazing.

  2. Excellent pix, the reservoir one is so evocative. Not sure I have ever been there actually.

    Beautiful stonework of the castle. I remember we were walking somewhere and found a garderobe (maybe in N’land) which had a similarly huge drop into a small river below. Wouldn’t want to be using it for drinking water downstream …

    Great pic of the river and bridge. I was going to be really clever and insert the image from my kitchen with the same view, but I’ve lost the instructions for the coding. But you did really well to take virtually the same angle 🙂 It all looks pretty similar some 60 years later.

    And of course the Dropping Well. I so remember that too. I used to potter around Knaresborough on my own while mum and dad went to see Uncle Reg so at one point I knew it quite well (not as well as you).

    • Swinsty looks quite eerie with the mist, but it’s a lovely walk, that I’ve done many times, with all the dogs I’ve had.
      The last time dad did it, he was helped by H, who was pulling him.

      Oh, you’ll have to remember how to insert your image, or send it to me and I’ll add it to the post 🙂

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