The '˜Yorkshire Matterhorn' that inspired Cook

'When Roseberry Topping wears a cap, let Cleveland then beware of a clap!'

PIC: Ian Day

So spoke sailors and farmers of Roseberry Topping, the iconic North Yorkshire hill seen here looming over a sea of vivid yellow rapeseed.

Visible from many miles away, the well-known landmark situated near Great Ayton was long used as an indicator of impending bad weather.

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Once forming the logo for the now defunct county of Cleveland, its summit has a noticeable half-cone shape with a jagged cliff, leading to it being dubbed the ‘Yorkshire Matterhorn’.

Yet in fact it doesn’t even lay claim to being the largest hill on the North York Moors. At 1,050 feet it is more than 400 feet lower than the nearby Urra Moor.

The hard sandstone that forms Roseberry Topping dates from the Middle and Lower Jurassic periods, between 208 and 165 million years ago, which constitutes the youngest sandstone to be found in any of the National Parks in England and Wales.

Just over a century ago, the summit resembled a sugarloaf, until a geological fault, and the impact of alum and ironstone mining, caused its collapse but left the topping intact.

Private property for many years and formerly part of a game estate owned by the Cressy family, Roseberry Topping is now managed by the National Trust and is open to the public

A popular walk since the early 18th century, those who complete the steep climb to the top are rewarded by magnificent views across the Cleveland plain, and, on a clear day, stretching as far as the Pennines some 50 miles away.

The tantalising glimpses of the North Sea from the summit served as inspiration for the young James Cook, whose family moved to Airey Holme Farm at Great Ayton when he was seven years of age.

When he had time off from working on the farm with his father, James would take himself off up Roseberry Topping, giving him the taste for adventure and exploration which would later see him write his name into the history books.

Technical details: Fujifilm X-T1 camera with a 14mm lens and an exposure of 1/100th sec at f11. ISO200.