Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Yorkshire Dales Railway to Bolton Abbey.

It was an earlier than normal start to the day as we wanted to go into town before catching the 9.20 bus to Embsay. The latter is the first station on the Yorkshire Dales Railway with a 4 mile long line to Bolton Abbey or Priory as it used to be.Bolton Abbey 001

Embsay engine shed with Darfield No1 getting ready for today's work. Thomas had a busy week-end and was having a rest.

Upon arrival at Embsay the bus driver was good enough to drop us right at the gate to the station. The staff at the station were just opening up and clearing up after the long week-end which was a Thomas the Tank Engine week-end. They reported stiff business and the rubbish on site was testament to that. While waiting for the first train at 10.20 I managed an invite up into the signal box to watch the off shed movement of the loco onto the train on platform 1.

Bolton Abbey 005 Inside Embsay signal box moving Darfield out of the engine shed yard onto the train.

The journey to Bolton Abbey station only took 15 minutes where we watched the loco run around the train ready for the return journey. From the station it’s only about a mile and a half to Bolton Abbey across the fields following the River Wharfe, which after recent rain was running high and fast.

The ruins of the Priory (Abbey) were amazing considering that they were built over several centuries from 1135 to 1540 but were never completed. The part of the building that was allowed to remain by dear old Henry VIII as a parish church is still in use and being restored when ever possible. After a picnic lunch in the grounds we walked back to the station by the road route as it was starting to rain which would make the bridle path route slippery.

Bolton Abbey 051 The ruined end of Bolton Abbey or Priory as it used to be. The cemetery is still in use.

Bolton Abbey 053 Bolton Abbey ruins with the tombs of early clergy that served there.

Bolton Abbey 073All the buildings on this side of the Abbey are now only  foundation walls showing the outline.

The return journey to Embsay was a bit of a surprise due to the fact that the train passed through the station and kept going for about a mile. When it finally came to a halt we were only about 300 yards from the old railway line to Grassington which has been kept open as a freight line to a quarry for Tarmac Ltd. The plan is to reconnect the Embsay line into this other line so that the Yorkshire Dales Railway can operate out of the dis-used bay platform (No 5) at Skipton. The YDR had originally bid for the Grassington line for it’s preserved railway but were declined because of the quarry and were given their present line instead. The Skipton plans could come to fruition in 2010.

Bolton Abbey 074 Duke of Devonshire's country residence beside Bolton Abbey.

Back on the boat we found we had a new neighbour flying the NZ flag. This turned out to be Bill and Liz on Nb Whio who live in Harbourview about a mile or so from our home in Stokes Valley. What a small world we live in! Naturally we invited them in for coffee and a chat to get to know each other. It turns out that they had our calling card and knew about us before they even left NZ.


Bill Rodgers said...

My Mom and I visited Bolton Abbey in 2004 and enjoyed it very much. I did not realize it had never been finished. Over here in the States, our ruins are never that old or that beautiful.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Bill
Yes it is a lovely place in a delightful setting. We are fascinated by the age of the ancient buildings here too.