The River Esk rises in the Cleveland hills and flows east to Whitby, on the east coast of Yorkshire. Today, most of the course of the river lies within the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, an outstanding area of countryside that surrounds the ancient seaport of Whitby. During the nineteenth century, this part of Yorkshire was mostly wild and inhospitable - a landscape of narrow valleys and steep hills rising to moorland heights with small hamlets scattered here and there. Despite the paucity of inhabitants (a total population of only around 25,560) there are over 100 villages in the North York Moors. Through a nostalgic selection of images past and present, this book will take readers on a guided tour of the Esk Valley, the changes wrought upon its wild moorland by the passage of time and industry, and the history of its towns, villages and residents.
Alan Whitworth was born in Huddersfield and now lives in Whitby. He worked in graphic design and printing before becoming involved in local history and the preservation of old buildings. A founding member of the British Dovecote Society, Alan now writes and lectures full time on architecture and local history.