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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 818
 Date Entered 26/07/2014
 Updated on 26/07/2014
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Geographical Record
 Record Type General HER
 Site Access Private
 Record Date 23/07/2014
 Location Helbeck Fell, Helbeck Wood and the Fox Tower
 Civil Parish Not known
 Brit. National Grid 
 Altitude 350m
 Geology Faulted limestones of Lower Carboniferous Age on the line of the Pennine Fault
 Record Name A walk to Mt Ida and to the Fox Tower above Brough
 Record Description The Fox Tower, Watch Tower assigned by the Medieval Castle of Brough to Early Warning of Scots Raiders was the object of this peaceful botanical excursion. By kind permission of the Owner, we were given permission to walk from Helbeck Hall across Helbeck Fell to Mt Ida and from thence down through Helbeck Wood. My own geological interest was charged by the marvellous exposures of the Pennine Fault in the limestone strata on Mt Ida. Botanical interests included several fine ash trees and occasional small yew trees (not to compare with those of Swaledale) on the cliffs and the rich flora of the limestone. However apart from losing Eileen, who wandered off on her own to the depths of Helbeck Wood, the highlight of the walk was of course the Fox Tower. Silent sentinel of the Scottish Wars long past, but who knows perhaps to be brought to good use again if a Republic of Scotland decides to extend the Border to the Trent (as many would secretly hope for). Silently we pondered on this and of the view from the Watch Tower. But not for long, a sudden CRACK denoted the use of high velocity tank gun. The tell tale after puff of smoke, less than a km below, marked the firing point. Very pleased not to be on the receiving end, we pretended to be botanists again so as not to attract attention, or a stray round.
 Dimensions See photographs
 Additional Notes For additional notes see photo captions.
 Image 1 ID 5631         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description The Fox Tower. Silent sentinel of the past in Helbeck Wood.
 Image 2 ID 5632         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description View down from Helbeck Fell to Brough and Brough Castle
 Image 3 ID 5634         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Botanising the steep scarp slopes of the limestone.
 Image 4 ID 5635         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris) a handsome but scarce thistle of limestone turf, sometimes stemless.
 Image 5 ID 5636         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description Carline or stemless thistle
 Image 6 ID 5647         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description Ash tree on the slopes of Mt Ida
 Image 7 ID 5637         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description Limestone Scar with ash and small yew tree.
 Image 8 ID 5638         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description Harebells.
 Image 9 ID 5642         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description Mt Ida from the upper part of Helbeck Wood
 Image 10 ID 5643         Click image to enlarge
 Image 10 Description Monocline structure exposed in strata of the Great Scar Limestone on Mt Ida.
 Image 11 ID 5650
 Image 11 Description Limestone ashwood. Helbeck Wood SSSI
 Image 12 ID 5651
 Image 12 Description Small scabious a beauty which is only to be found on limestone scars.
 Image 13 ID 5648
 Image 13 Description Interior of the Fox Tower with spiral staircase leading up to the top of the tower.
 Image 14 ID 5649
 Image 14 Description Interior of the Fox Tower with spiral staircase leading up to the top of the tower.
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