Map Ref: SE8667594943 Landranger Map Number: 94
Easy to get to, and a lovely walk too
From Pickering, take the A169 towards Whitby. When you get to the Car Park at the ‘Hole of Horcum’ – (you can’t miss it), park the car and walk North along the side of the road towards Whitby. After 60 yds, take the track East. Follow this for approximately 100 yards until you meet the MOD sign. Take the left path along the side of the woods, then at the end take the right fork. Follow the path along the side of the ridge for about a mile and a half. Enjoy the views!
I love old crosses, especially those that are just stuck in the middle of nowhere. I find them quite sad in a funny sort of way, as though they once belonged to a time long gone.
The North Yorks Moors has an abundance of old crosses. and as I don’t know this area as well as I should I set out to find one. Looking at the maps and websites, I chose one not too far away. We are in the midst of a heatwave at the moment and didn’t fancy too long a hike in 28 degree heat.
Malo cross isn’t that old, but it’s location seemed just right – a couple of miles there and the same back. I could have done a circular but it was quite too hot for walking far and I wanted to be back in time to watch England play footy! And there is a bit of a mystery associated with it – although probably not supernatural.
The walk to the cross is just superb – by the side of a short wood, then along a large ridge with spectacular views over the North Yorks Moors that are really superb, although it was a bit hazy. Then down an ancient path towards the cross. The grass was dry and the sheep, still not shorn, were lying in the shadows keeping cool.
I came across a party of young hikers – maybe 7 or 8, all about school age and a chap in his mid 30’s, he was obviously ‘in charge’ of them and he stopped me and asked for directions. Turned out he didn’t have a map of the area (none of them did) and after looking at mine, he realised they were quite a way from where he thought they were. They had also run out of drinks – and I passed around my bottle to the ones who seemed most needy. There was a farm house about a mile away and I pointed them towards that – maybe they could get a drink there and ring someone for a lift. But that decided it for me, any doubts I had of doing the circular were dashed as I now only had a little bit of water left and it was a very hot day.
Anyway, back to the cross. It is situated where 4 paths meet (often suicides were buried at crossroads so their Spirit wouldn’t be able to find their way home). I don’t know if this is one such place or not – but I doubt it. The cross is directly in front of you as you approach from the ridge. And it looks quite eerie too – I should imagine more so in dusk.
First erected in 1619 by Sir Richard Egerton as a boundary marker for his manor. It was named after the de Mauley family of nearby Mulgrave Castle. It went missing for about fifty years in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It was found in a garden in Pickering and returned to its rightful place in 1924.
Who would want to steal a cross, and why? It’s a big thing, standing about 5 or 6 ft. high, and probably very heavy too.
Anyway, it is a small mystery and one that maybe someone knows the answer to. But it is a lovely walk and well worth doing. Just make sure you bring a spare map and lots to drink in case you meet any other idiots in charge of kids – maybe they are still there???