Packhorse guide stoop, West Witton MYD35825 (c) YDNPA, 2023
An early 18th century guide stoop made from sandstone. It is about half a metre high, the shaft is square with a slightly larger square head with a hole in the top. It is inscribed ‘Middleham’ on the east side of the head, ‘Askrigg’ on the north and ‘Hawes’ on the west. The guide stoop stands beside Witton Steeps, part of an early packhorse and drovers’ route up Wensleydale from Middleham.
Wright, Geoffrey N (1985) Roads and Trackways of the Yorkshire Dales. Ashbourne: Moorland Publishing
Location Grassgill Lane leads off to the south from West Witton Main Street close to the eastern edge of the village. Head south on Grassgill Lane. After a little more than a half mile the road starts to climb steeply through a series of sharp bends; left first, then right then left again (Witton Steeps). Exactly on the second left hand bend a track goes off to the right. The guide stoop stands in the angle between the road and the track.
Public Transport Details Nearest town/village: West Witton. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility To see the stone you need to walk on an unmade road for a few metres. It is firm underfoot. Whichever way you come to the site you need to walk on the road: traffic is negligible but the road is very steep (25% gradient)