Rylstone Edge

Rylstone Edge

Unnamed on maps, Rylstone Edge is a fine line of broken gritstone outcrops that culminate with a particularly fine buttress topped with the Rylstone Cross.

Rylstone Edge is found to the south-west of the summit of Cracoe Fell and can be easily reached from the small village of Rylstone below. The six mile circular walk taking in the villages of Rylstone and Cracoe together with the summit of Cracoe Fell and a visit to the Rylstone Cross is one of my favourites in the Dales.

Cracoe Fell from Rylstone Edge
Cracoe Fell from Rylstone Edge

Apparently the cross replaced a stone figure called the Rylstone Man. According to the yorkshiredales.co.uk website the original cross was erected in 1885 to celebrate the Peace of Paris. I find this highly unlikely as the only 1885 Paris peace treaty I can find marked the end of a war between France and China for control of northern Vietnam. Hardly cause for celebration by the villagers of Rylstone!

The Rylstone Cross
The Rylstone Cross

Much more likely it was built to mark the Treaty of Paris of 1814 which marked the end of the war between Napoleonic France and the Sixth Coalition. The original cross was wooden and over the years fell victim to the elements on a number of occasions. The existing cross is made of stone and was erected in 1997.

One of the finest sections of Rylstone Edge
One of the finest sections of Rylstone Edge

As the main path from the cross to the obelisk on Cracoe follows the opposite side of the wall it would be easy to miss the rest of Rylstone Edge. Indeed this is what happened on my first visit back in 2005. To fully enjoy the edge it is therefore necessary to follow the thinner path on the north side of the wall. A mild bit of scrambling is required in a couple of places to get round some of the outcrops but it is definitely worth it.

Rylstone Edge
Rylstone Edge

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