Castleton Rigg and the Seated Man sculpture

Date walked: 05/11/2017

Time taken: 1.45 hours

Distance: 6km

Ascent: 200m

In the summer of 2017 a 3m high sculpture of a seated man appeared on the edge of Brown Hill on Castleton Rigg in the North York Moors - he looks thoughtfully out over Westerdale and the plan is for him to be there for 5 years.
He has caused a little controversy with some people complaining that he is "spoiling the wilderness" but in fact he is only a few minutes' walk from two roads although visible from neither of them.
I had a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon and it looked like a good time to go and see the sculpture. Trouble was I was not quite sure where to find him. Friends had told me he was "not far from the Blakey road", and other friends had mentioned a circular walk from Westerdale. Fortunately a quick google search took me to a Geograph page with an 8 figure grid reference which was more useful. I decided that making a circular trip from Castleton would be the best plan to avoid road walking.

Track_05-NOV-17 162529.gpx Open map in GPS Planner  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

There is a large car park just outside Castleton which suited me nicely. Altough the morning had been beautiful and sunny at home, once on the moors there were scattered showers of rain giving scraps of rainbow in the distance.
a scrap of rainbow


I crossed the road and picked up a track which would take me on the Danby side of Castleton Rigg past several farms.
Castleton and a large silage store

There are two footpaths marked on the map here, but it became clear that the higher one, which I had intended to take, was overgrown with bracken and not used. I didn't particularly mind taking the lower track which was well marked past several farms.
there should be a footpath here.

Looking across Danby Dale

another scrap of rainbow

On farmland there are these lovely yellow waymarks - or blue for bridleways.

dead tree full of woodworm flight holes, the holly is growing round and through it making it look alive!


This old farm is converted into high class holiday accommodation with lots of little picnic and barbecue areas and a dovecot

Stile built into the wall

I'd love to know what this is. Cellar? Ice house? Well? it was just outside the farmhouse so I did not think it was appropriate to explore too much.

A sharp pull up hill brought me back to the main Castleton to Hutton-le-Hole road (which further on goes along Blakey Rigg past the famous Lion Inn).
Going uphill now - looking back to Danby

And looking towards Danby Botton, where there is a Rudolph Steiner community which recently has been the subject of much controversy

Crossing the road I aimed uphill across the rough heather for the summit of Brown Hill, which is pretty flat on top, thinking that when I reached the top I would be able to see the Man. As I came onto the flat bit I came across a large group of people walking on a nice path through the heather!
part of a large group spread out on the skyline

I could also see the Seated Man surrounded by small people - it seems he is a popular destination for a Sunday afternoon stroll!
Seated Man and visitors

He looks worried about something - Brexit, the state of the NHS, the lack of jobs in local industry? Or perhaps closer to home. Maybe his dog just died or his children have moved abroad. Maybe he comes here to get a bit of restoration for his weary soul, like many of us do.

Somehow all these people looking at him and getting their photos taken seemed like a bit of an intrusion

But it's a lovely view out over Westerdale with Roseberry Topping just peeping up over the distant horizon, and my house just on the other side of it.

It was pretty cold on the top and the sun was getting quite low in the sky now so after a few photos and some chat with some random people on the top I set off back down the spine of Castleton Rigg back to the car.
another scrap of rainbow

Castleton Rigg

Goodbye to the sun

Glistening road in Westerdale

I only had to walk on road for about the last 30 metres back to the car park.

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Comments: 7

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Location: north yorkshire moors
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: just gimme a cup of tea
Place: Everywhere
Gear: the Map
Ideal day out: waking up in a tent in the middle of nowhere and then doing 2 or 3 munros followed by a hot bath
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