Click to zoom …
Skell Gill is a small, peaceful hamlet situated due west of Askrigg, comprising several farms and about a dozen cottages. In pack-horse days Skell Gill had three inns, being a significant stopover point on an ancient road. A narrow, hump back bridge deters the modern motorist!
This outing visits three additional bridges each spanning Grange Beck at Bow Bridge on the outskirts of Bainbridge.
The road bridge there was built in 1899 when the road was widened, replacing the edieval construction several yards upstream. That bridge dating from early 12th Century and built by monks from Jervaulx, has also been widened as evidenced on the downstream side.
A hundred yards downstream of these two is a quaint footbridge known as Hockett Bridge.
Leave Lodge Yard, turn right and enter the lane to the right of the church. Beyond the houses pass through a gate signposted – Mill Gill Force.
A paved path extends across the meadow towards the redundant mill. Pass beneath the metal aqueduct, cross a footbridge and follow an obvious path into the woods (a bluebell wonderland in season).
At an obvious footpath junction turn left through the stile (detour right to Mill Gill Force recommended) and continue across two fields to merge with a road. Follow the road uphill, turning left at the first opportunity into Skell Gill Lane. Note the arches at Spen House. These are probably bee boles, recesses that held bee skeps in times of self sufficiency. Also, the protruding ‘through stones’ at Luke’s House. These were used as a building technique and not decoration.
Continue over the bridge then turn left into a wide lane, prior to reaching a ford. Follow the lane to a signpost then veer right towards Sedbusk, treading a pleasant green swathe that rolls out towards a conifer plantation and farm houses. This is Shaw Cote farm originally built in 1677. At this juncture turn left, pass through the gate and walk along the farm access road. Where the road curves right and drops downwards, veer left, walking beneath a limestone outcrop – Shaw Cote Scar – towards a gate. Marker posts lead across the field gradually descending to the road. Seek a stile in the wall 20 yards prior to some hawthorn hedging.
Turn left and follow the road for a mile, keeping left at the Bainbridge junction, to pass a cluster of houses known as Bow Bridge.
Note the converted chapel, built in 1908, and two bridges already mentioned.
Follow the road beyond the bridge and the remaining houses towards a stile on the right – signposted Yore Bridge. This leads to Hockett Bridge, a delightful, miniature construction. Cross the bridge towards the railway, turning left across a modern footbridge.
For the return to Askrigg just walk alongside the railtrack, noticing the former station building and platform. Fifty yards beyond the station building turn left, then right at the main road and return to Askrigg via the churchyard.
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):