How 'Yorkshire Matterhorn' Roseberry Topping has a connection with Captain Cook

It is on the paths surrounding Roseberry Topping that one of the area's most famous sons is said to have been given his first taste of adventure.

The footpath leading up Little Roseberry from Roseberry Topping in the North York Moors National Park. August 24, 2020. Technical information: Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a 23mm lens, exposure of 1/300th second at f9, ISO 160. Picture: Ian Day
The footpath leading up Little Roseberry from Roseberry Topping in the North York Moors National Park. August 24, 2020. Technical information: Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a 23mm lens, exposure of 1/300th second at f9, ISO 160. Picture: Ian Day

The great explorer and navigator Captain James Cook moved to Airey Holme Farm, just to the south of the distinctive-looking hill, with his family as a young boy in 1736.

Once he finished his schooling, he reportedly made frequent journeys up Roseberry Topping, from which this photograph of a footpath leading up neighbouring hill Little Roseberry is taken.

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The National trust, which manages the North Yorkshire site, picks up the story. "These early walks are said to have given him the taste for adventure and exploration that were to stay with him for the rest of his life," it says. "You can certainly imagine that the views from the top might have led him to wonder what lay beyond the horizon."

Those who have followed in his footsteps in climbing to the summit will know that Captain Cook's Monument, a 16m high obelisk on nearby Easby Moor, can be seen from the top, erected in honour of the British Royal Navy captain, who sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe.

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This monument is a tribute to Yorkshire explorer Captain James Cook

Walkers are also rewarded with magnificent views across the Cleveland plain - and even further beyond on a clear day.

Roseberry Topping is nicknamed locally as the Yorkshire Matterhorn, so-called because of its noticeable half-cone shape with a jagged cliff.

The formation often reminds people of the pyramidal peak of the Matterhorn in the Alps, one of Europe's highest mountains.

It is certainly a distinctive landmark, with thousands of walkers drawn to climb it each year. But at 1,050ft high, it is much smaller than many of Britain's mountains, its statue standing less than a third of the height England's highest peak, Scafell Pike.

What it lacks in size though, it makes up for in charm, not least with its legends.

One tale goes that Prince Oswy, the son of King Oswald of Northumbria, drowned there. Legend says it was foretold that the Prince, the son of King Oswald, would die by drowning so his mother took him to the summit of Roseberry Topping to try to keep him safe. But he wandered off and fell into a spring after she fell asleep.

Technical details: Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a 23mm lens, exposure of 1/300th second at f9, ISO 160.

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