Secret Britain (2010) s02e02 Episode Script

Mysterious Moors of Yorkshire

1 This is the story of Britain, but a Britain we rarely see.
Britain as an undiscovered country.
Our glorious landscape isn't just spectacular.
It's full of secrets and surprises.
'We asked you to share your secret places.
' It's absolutely beautiful.
And the response was overwhelming.
'You're taking us to some remarkable sites.
' How bizarre.
- We're going to walk along there? Are you sure about this? - Yeah.
Crikey! We'll just stay a little bit away from the edge.
Yeah, good idea.
We'll also share a few secrets of our own.
'I really enjoy discovering secret wild swimming spots.
' Oh, that's amazing! 'This is Britain as you have never seen it before.
' Oh, my word! Ho-ho-ho-ho! If you want to know a secret Then come with us.
Stonehenge .
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Hadrian's Wall .
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great abbeys .
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and grand houses.
Throughout the ages we've made our mark on our land.
Leaving clues to long-lost secret lives.
As we journey around secret Britain, we are following up on your suggestions.
We're in North Yorkshire, England's largest county.
It has also been voted the most beautiful.
The locals call it "God's Own Country".
But is that an idle boast? Let's find out.
Our heavenly patch takes in two national parks, - the Yorkshire Dales - .
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and the North York Moors.
With so many great sites to see in God's Own Country We need God's own view.
An aerial tour of the treats in store.
Standing proudly above the North York Moors, Sutton Bank, our launchpad.
Standing up here with Yorkshire spread out below us, it feels like we could touch the sky.
It's funny you should say that, Ellie, because the only way is up.
We ain't seen nothing yet.
- Excited? - I think so.
- Good luck.
- What? HE LAUGHS You're an idiot.
'But I'm not daft enough to think we can fly.
'Our pilots are the keepers of our first secret.
'The secret life of the Yorkshire sky.
' Ha! That's incredible! Woh! My word! 'Once we are airborne and the towline's released, 'it's just us.
' BEEPING Oh.
Delta Zero Two releasing.
OK, so that's us away.
Unbelievable! 'The pilots trust their lives' '.
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and ours' '.
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to knowing the secrets of these big Yorkshire skies.
' A lot of the skill of staying in the air is about reading the ground and the sky.
So what are you looking for, then, John? Straight ahead now we've got a nice cloud.
Flat bottom.
And that's where we're aiming for.
Probably find some lift under this cloud.
'These fluffy clouds are created by hot air rising 'from Yorkshire's landscape.
'A thermal updraft we can hitch a ride on.
' And I'm reading the sky and working out where the best lift is going to be.
Not all clouds produce it, and they only have a life of around 20 minutes, generally speaking.
So we look for the ones that are just developing.
And then we get the strongest lift.
Oh, I could feel it then.
So we are now swirling around in a thermal.
Just like a bird of prey would do.
So, we are going up at 600 feet a minute.
It's only when you get in something like this you really feel it.
It's amazing seeing the landscape from this height.
All of the lives going on below you.
What are people doing? What are their stories? 'High in the heavens, North Yorkshire's 'laid out before us, in all its glory.
' We're heading now towards Rievaulx Abbey.
Wow, what a sight! We should check that place out.
'More ancient and mysterious still, 'giant circles are a clue to secrets of Stone Age lives.
'And our journey will take us to the sea 'for secrets of life on the edge.
' 'Ellie, I think we are 'in for an extraordinary view of North Yorkshire.
' Look on the top now.
And watch for the ground.
Oh, my word! Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho! Hee-hee-hee! He think's he's Top Gun.
How was it? I absolutely loved it! - Did you?! - It's incredible, how about you? - I really didn't! THEY LAUGH - Were you a bit scared? - I was really wibbly.
That sort of secret world up there is just wonderful! Spiritual for you, was it? I feelliberated.
It was wonderful.
I've seen some gems from up there that I'm going to investigate now I'm down on the ground.
'We've got our check list of treasures 'to seek out' 'But we've also got your top tips for North Yorkshire's secrets.
'So we're taking our own paths for a while.
'And, as we are in God's Own Country, 'I'm starting at a holy site I spied from on high.
'One of North Yorkshire's largest 'and most spectacular abbeys.
' There it is, Rievaulx Abbey.
It's hardly a secret spot but that is bound to be more than meets the eye in this old place.
Monks lived here for 400 years, before Henry VIII stripped the abbey bare.
This picturesque valley was ideal for holy men seeking solitude and quiet contemplation.
The first surprise? To build an abbey of such beauty, the monks had to break with convention.
Christian churches traditionally had their altars facing east, but here Rievaulx faces north, allowing it to fit perfectly onto this idyllic site.
One of Rievaulx's most influential abbots said about this place, "Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, "and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world.
" More than 800 years on, I think I agree with him.
Even if you are not religious, and I'm not, there is still this sense of calmness and meditation.
You can well imagine this place in its heyday, centuries ago.
If you'd come from a humble, wooden, low house to here with these stone pillars rising up to the sky, you could well believe you were in the house of God.
But what has brought me here is a secret that few of us get to see.
'For 400 years, 'monks poured their devotion into their abbey, 'building higher, nearer to God.
'I thought we could only imagine how it looked in its heyday.
'But I've heard there's a hidden location 'where magnificent carvings that once adorned the abbey 'are kept.
' It's a bit like a DIY store, but with priceless historical artefacts on the shelves instead.
'These are the mysterious men of Rievaulx.
'I'm told they are not all they seem.
' - How are you doing? - I'm all right, how are you? - Yeah, good, thanks.
'Keeper of Rievaulx secrets is curator, Susan Harrison.
'She'll show me faces from the abbey the public don't see.
' So these aren't the monks, then? No, not at all.
They may be modelled on the masons or other people working on the site.
And the masons will be given fairly free rein to do their own little designs on these pieces.
'So generations of men who crafted the abbey 'carve their own faces into its stone.
'With a little artistic licence, of course.
' A mixed bag! They certainly are! So you've got the Devil.
You can see a green man, - so he's got foliage coming from his mouth.
- Ooh, lovely(!) They're all quite ugly characters, aren't they? They're astonishing characters, and this fella on the end here Looks like my first boyfriend.
SHE LAUGHS A bit of a rat boy.
He's got a fine set of teeth.
He really has.
'These faces were lost for centuries, hidden under rubble, 'until shortly after the First World War.
' There was literally tonnes and metres of spoil covering the site.
A good 700 items - were listed as being discovered during the 1920s.
- Wow.
'And what's more extraordinary 'is the story of the folk who found the lost faces.
' A series of excavations were started and soldiers returning from the Great War were employed to help clear this site.
Men who had recently dug for survival now dug for salvation .
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this heavenly spot healing the horrors of the First World War.
'Combing through the abbey's remains, 'these soldiers helped rediscover the stonemasons 'who left their lasting impressions on Rievaulx.
' I think what I find awe-inspiring is what an incredible feat of construction this place is.
And that centuries on, we can still meet the men who built it, face-to-face.
Ellie and I are exploring the secrets of North Yorkshire's divine land.
And we're not the only ones.
Walkers flock to North Yorkshire.
But few ever realise .
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there are hidden gems buried beneath their feet.
For farmers like me this is familiar territory.
But I've come to this Yorkshire farm because apparently they've unearthed something amazing.
For the gardeners amongst you, I expect you've dug up all sorts of interesting things over the years.
In the Cotswolds at home, I often pick up these flint arrowheads, and the last person who held these before me was probably 5,000 years ago.
But compared to the secrets unearthed on this Yorkshire farm, these are small fry.
Go on! 50 years ago, when Mark Rooke was just a small boy, he watched his dad make a discovery that was truly historic.
- Good to meet you.
- Nice to see you.
Can you show me this secret that your dad unearthed all these years ago? Yeah, it's just over here, we'll have a look.
This is it, Adam, this is the Beadlam Roman villa.
Goodness me! Excavated in 1965, my father found it.
'A whole Roman villa, '1,600 years old.
' It's quite a size, isn't it? This is only a part of it, there's five acres, but this is the main part they wanted to preserve.
Apparently, in 1965, when it was discovered and unearthed, it was the most northerly Roman villa in England.
Wow! It must have been exciting for your dad.
Yes, it would be exciting but it would be a mystery to him.
Because he just that it was modern farm buildings that were derelict.
And how old were you? I was about nine years old then, eight or nine years old.
I remember the tractor coming and it was taking all these stones back, and dad playing hell about because we were trying to cultivate this land into arable, into spring barley and all these bloody stones ADAM LAUGHS So people drive along the main road - and have got no idea it's there.
- They don't know it's here.
What's in this area? We're actually stood in a Roman bathhouse here.
There was underfloor heating here which you can see.
These flags are the underfloor part.
And this is the original flue pipe.
When you think that goes back to 400 AD, - it's still there.
- Yeah, underfloor heating.
Yeah, underfloor heating.
'These Romans were rich enough to build grand houses 'with all the mod cons.
'Not just underfloor heating, 'elaborate mosaic floors, too.
' I get excited about finding a few arrowheads and you have a whole Roman villa! THEY LAUGH 'For centuries, this relic of Roman Britain 'lay undisturbed, hidden beneath Yorkshire soil.
'And God's Own Country continues 'to offer up surprising Roman secrets.
' One of the recent discoveries that made up here in Yorkshire about these tough Romans is that they were wearing socks with their sandals.
It's not very fashionable but I suppose it kept them warm.
Take heart, sock-wearing men of Britain.
The Romans were not just trendsetters, their connections to this land cut very deep.
While waging war on the Scots, the emperor, Septimius Severus, actually lived in York .
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making the city the heart of Rome's empire.
Wealth from the surrounding farmlands funded a rich lifestyle.
But who was Emperor Septimius Severus? I've brought some goodies to show you, actually.
This is what we call a head pot.
'Yorkshire Museum's Natalie McCall 'is here to share the secrets of Septimius Severus.
' This is an African design, and it sort of makes its way and is found over here in York around the time that Septimius Severus comes and stays here.
And he is actually an African emperor.
Goodness me, a Roman African emperor? Yep, he's the first black emperor.
'It's astonishing to think that this emperor, Septimius Severus, 'wasn't only Roman 'but African, too.
' Severus put Yorkshire's land to work, growing crops for his legions and digging local clay to fashion pots in an African style.
'Pots which still hold a secret.
' And who was this, do you think? We don't know who this one is, this is kind of an anonymous Roman.
You can almost see their fingerprints inside here, can't you? Yeah.
This is one of my favourite pieces that we have in the museum because the link to the person who made this is just right there in the clay.
You can see their finger impressions, you can see their fingernails.
It's such a tangible link to somebody 2,000 years ago.
It really is, isn't it? Touching where they touched.
'You might be surprised to know 'I have a personal connection to these pots.
' I've got a little secret of my own to share.
When I was a teenager I was really keen on ceramics.
In fact I spent hours sitting at a potter's wheel.
'But have I got what it takes to match the skills of those African 'craftsmen?' - Graeme, hi.
- Hi! 'To find out, archaeological potter Graham Taylor 'is taking me back to Roman times.
' I didn't realise I was going to get to the real McCoy, the whole Roman.
- Absolutely.
- Look, you've even got socks under your sandals.
Ha-ha! I used to do a little bit when I was a teenager.
This is a few of my examples.
What do you reckon? That's not bad at all.
That is pretty good.
You're obviously an expert.
HE LAUGHS I don't think so.
This is a model of my art teacher, he had quite a big nose.
- Very nice.
- Tell me, what's this about? Well, this is a Roman potter's wheel, one of the types of wheels that the Romans used to make head pots, bowls, jars, all sorts of stuff.
How did they make things so beautiful on wheel like that? There's only one way to find that out.
Here you go, you have this one.
We'll get you going.
Wrap that round you, get it tied on.
Now, this is a stick wheel.
The first thing, the stick.
- Yeah.
- Right-handed? I am, yeah.
- Anti-clockwise.
- OK.
- So off you go.
- Is it going to fly off as soon as? Oh! That part nearly took your kneecaps off.
- I may have to duck back, that's fine.
- Like that? - Yeah.
- Ooh! Sorry! It's all right.
Now really the push toward the centre.
- It slows down quick.
- It does slow down quick.
A bit more water this time It's a bit wobbly, this wheel, isn't it? Yeah, but that's fine.
The clay's centred.
You don't need to worry too much about the wheel.
That's it.
Straight down the middle.
Good stuff.
You've done this before.
- Lovely.
- Oh!? Look at that, fantastic! That's it, nice and wet.
It's a fine art piece, lovely.
Hey, get in there.
That's it.
It'll fly off I can tell.
Ah, it's looking good.
These guys must have been very skilful craftsman, - mustn't they? - Well, they were.
There would have been a long learning period to get up to the skill level that you need to manufacture the sort of pots they did.
I can feel the Roman roots coming from the Earth Absolutely! - .
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up into the guts of my clay.
- Absolutely! A fabulous job.
Excellent.
Da-nah! 'It's remarkable to find Roman potters 'once worked this land to their will.
' Yorkshire clay, torn from the Earth to fashion African and Roman faces that reveal the secret lives of ancient Britain.
We're on a quest to uncover secret stories you have put us onto.
As we explore North Yorkshire .
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your next tip-off is taking us to the striking Malham Cove.
And it's not just places like this that are astounding us.
It's the people, too.
We heard from a young lad whose passion for the Dales leapt out at us.
15-year-old Jack Depledge is a would-be gamekeeper in the traditional mould.
I'm definitely a countryman.
I'm out all the time.
Love the countryside.
The wildlife you get out here and all the different variety of habitat.
I mean, the views you get from up here, they are just fantastic.
I have two Cocker Spaniels, Monkey and Finn.
And five ducks and two geese.
So these are my ferrets.
This is a female, my sister has named her Minty.
She's my main worker.
I'll take her to some of my favourite spots today, and we'll leave him at home because he's still in training, he still quite young.
Ferreting is the traditional way of controlling rabbit population.
I mainly do ferreting for the local gamekeepers and farmers.
Some of the places that I come ferreting, it's places that not a lot of people get to go.
As I go off the beaten track looking for the rabbits, looking for the signs of the warrens, the fresh droppings of the rabbits, the runs in the grass where the grass is flattened.
This is the first hole we're going to net.
I'm going to use my purse net, which is the net that we use for trapping the rabbits in.
We tuck the bottom in the hole and then lift the net over and just make sure it's covering all of the hole.
We'll put her down the main hole and hopefully we'll get the rabbit bolting out of the bolt holes.
And she's away.
Then we just sit and wait.
It is viewed as cruel and it is said that it's cruel, but it's not.
It's done to manage the land.
Rabbits are a huge number.
It's a quick way of despatching them when you do and you only ferret them when necessary.
No, I don't think there's much doing in here.
What do you think? Being outside, looking at the views, looking at the wildlife and the countryside is what it is all about.
I'm dying for this.
I usually come here and sit for lunch.
Well, look at the view down the valley up at Pen-y-ghent.
The passion that I have for the countryside is the fact that it is all worked, it is down to farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, that make it what it is.
Jack got in touch to share his love of Yorkshire with us.
As we search out more secrets from God's Own Country .
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we're about to head back in time.
Thousands of years back in time.
All over Britain our ancient ancestors loved building big.
We all know Stonehenge.
But there are other henge monuments, too.
The most impressive but least known are here in Yorkshire.
Thornborough Henges.
Three great circular earth banks built 5,000 years ago.
So, Adam, this is one of the Thornborough Henges, this giant circle here.
That's pretty impressive.
When I think of henges, I think of Stonehenge and those massive rocks, but there is not that here.
"Henge" is an archaeological term for a big, circular earth and bank and ditch and there is one at Stonehenge but it is just that the stones are so big they are what catches the eye.
Looking down, you can see it is quite hollow here.
- They've obviously moved a lot of earth up this bank.
- Yeah.
It's not small, this one.
'Over 5,000 years, the earth banks 'have eroded, 'but they were once 15-feet tall, 'built in a perfect circle.
'They're still stunning from the air, 'but it's from the ground their secrets are revealed.
'They give an interrupted view of the heavenly skies.
' As you see those, we get closer and closer to the centre.
The features outside the circle disappear, the landmarks and all the visual cues from outside have gone.
So when you stand here you have a clear line of sight to the heavens above, like an outdoor cathedral.
I can see it, it's all sky.
'Having one henge is impressive enough, Ellie, 'but Thornborough has three.
' There is a theory that the three line up and match the three stars of Orion's Belt in the sky above.
They'd have come here on a spiritual pilgrimage.
Yeah, I'm getting it.
I can sort of feel it.
Amazing to think that 5,000 years ago people were gathering here as a meeting point in almost like a religious ceremony.
It's incredible, isn't it, to think that people went to such a big effort to create these places that were so special to them.
I'm glad you like it.
The days of creating mighty earth monuments have long gone.
Lately, the locals have been busy building in stone and brick.
It's in the valleys that people gather together now.
The Peaks remain a rugged backdrop.
Up here folk are few and far between.
'But that doesn't mean that the tops don't conceal a secret 'that I'm seeking out.
' To me, it's the sort of terrain that is crying out for a two-wheel safari.
Yes, this is too gorgeous.
Amazing.
'As I climb, it feels like leaving 'the Dales and its people behind.
' It's glorious.
There's not a soul here.
'Just an endless road.
'But a road to where?' We're on the road to nowhere Come on inside We're on a ride to nowhere I'll take that ride 'This is classic Cathy and Heathcliff 'Yorkshire moorland.
'Bleak, desolate 'unforgiving.
'Then, out of nowhere, 'and quite unexpected, 'a sign of life.
' An old pub, and right by itself! That is bound to have a secret or two, surely.
Welcome to the inn atop Tan Hill, Britain's highest pub.
They've been pulling pints here for nearly 300 years.
Surprising, given that it's miles from the nearest customers.
'Imagine getting stuck up here.
' Oh, my.
It's cosy.
'What's it like in winter, though? 'A question for landlady Tracy Daly.
' People do get snowed in.
They think they're going to get snowed in for a day or two.
It's normally at least three or four days.
Really? The famous New Year lock-in - 64 people here.
And we had the Snowcat that year, collecting customers.
And then the following day, New Year's Day, 30 of them walked out because they had snow boots and the other 30 had to stay here for another two days.
We had to get a committee together - who was going to do the washing up, who was going to do the cooking, who was going to do the cleaning.
That's good.
Get them doing the work.
We're in the middle of nowhere, which begs the question why was this pub built here in the first place? Well, some people think that the secret lies out there, buried in the moor.
Perhaps this old map of the moor offers a clue.
Are those mineshafts? 'And if they hold the secret, 'where are they?' I've got no idea what I'm looking for.
'This moorland doesn't give up its secrets easily.
' How will I crack the mystery of the Tan Hill Inn? While you ponder that, Ellie, I'm on my own hunt for secrets in what the locals call God's Own Country.
Following a lead, I'm heading to the North York Moors and the Rosedale Valley.
I'm walking in the footsteps of forgotten craftsmen, skilled workers who apparently tramped over these hills centuries ago.
And I'm told they made glass out here.
Look, there's loads of it.
Here we are.
Glass.
And that's not from some broken beer bottle.
That looks ancient.
There's loads of it.
Goodness me.
It seems an unlikely spot for glass-making, but the locals stumbled across a stone structure hundreds of years old.
What they found were the remains of an old glass furnace and it had been completely buried in heather and bracken and when they discovered it, it lifted the lid on some remarkable secret lives, lived out here on the moor.
To honour those craftsmen of old, the archaeologists left a plaque.
Yeah, this is it.
"This marks the site of a long-lost industry.
"Skilled craft workers operating a glass furnace here to produce "objects of great beauty.
" Who were those craftsmen? And why were they working in secret, up here? The foundations of their furnace have been moved to Ryedale Folk Museum.
The clay ovens to make glass stood on the stone base.
Robin Butler helped shift the stone foundation of that furnace here and now, he's sitting on it.
- Robin, hi.
- Hello.
- I'm Adam.
Good to see you.
- Yeah, nice to see you.
This is remarkable! So, how did it work, then? So, this was the main furnace.
The prevailing wind was blowing through here.
- So, this was like a funnel to bring the flames - That's right.
The flames in, yeah.
These would have big domes on them and each corner was for cooling it down.
We found quite a lot of bits of glass.
It's really quite fine, isn't it? Ornate.
These were skilled men.
What were these people doing, hidden away, up on the moor? Well, I don't really know for certain but they were Huguenots, from Northern France, I think that's where they came from.
- Incredible, isn't it? - Yeah.
'Robin could be on to something.
'He mentioned the Huguenots, a group of French artisans, 'famous for making fine glassware, such as goblets and vases.
'But what were they doing so far from home?' Frenchmen? Up here? On the North York Moors? Making glass?! Really? 'It feels like all this time this landscape's been trying 'to tell us a story.
If only we knew where to look.
'Digging into the past, you tend to look to churches.
'There are no graves of Frenchmen to be seen, but there are records.
' In the 1500s, there was definitely an influx of newcomers to the region.
This is a copy of some of the burial records from the local church.
There's some names here listed 1574, Cout or Coute.
Another one here, Rathrome.
And they definitely weren't Yorkshiremen.
'What is it about this landscape that would bring French craftsmen 'to North Yorkshire? 'Perhaps local glass-makers Kate Jones and Steve Gillies 'know their secret.
' The moors seems like a pretty unlikely place to be making glass.
Why did they choose it? It does, but it had all the raw materials that the glass-makers would have needed.
There was the bracken for the potash and then there was the sand that they would need for the silica, - for the glass.
- Yes.
And then, they also had clay in the ground, which they needed to make the crucibles, where the glass would then sit.
And this area, it's not so wooded now today, it would have been full of oak trees, which they would have used to fire the furnace.
So, all the raw materials were all around them, - perfect for making glass.
- Yeah, perfect location.
'The Huguenots had fled France to escape religious persecution.
'The moors offered sanctuary and vital materials for their craft.
' Well, having been down to the museum, they very kindly lent me some glass.
- Have a look at that.
- Oh, yeah, that looks like the top of a bottle.
- Amazing! Wow! It's incredible! - Yeah.
They would have been highly prized drinking vessels.
- Highly skilled as well.
- It's a remarkable secret.
- Yeah.
'Kate and Steve are keeping alive those traditional skills, 'first practised in secret in the Rosedale Valley, some 450 years ago.
' And it's just nice that 50 minutes from where we work, there was glass-making such a long time ago.
'Their skills are timeless.
'Here in Yorkshire, those exiled Frenchmen found refuge 'and the means to practise their craft, far from home.
' But there's a moorland puzzle still perplexing me, here at Britain's pub, atop Tan Hill.
I want to know the secret of why this inn, so far from potential punters, was ever built.
Clues inside have sent me outside, looking for old mine workings.
I know that there's evidence of mining out here, but all I can see is acres and acres of moorland.
'Then, as if by magic, just when I need one, up pops an expert.
' - Hi, Ellie.
- Hi, Rob.
How are you doing? 'Local historian Robert White.
' Don't step back too far cos the hole's behind you.
- That's the mineshaft, there.
- That's the shaft.
- Can I have a quick look? - Yeah.
- That's a pretty deep hole, right? Well, there's lots of these, dotted around the landscape.
You can see them a lot better from the air.
If you look at the aerial photograph, these are the shafts Oh, I see.
And there's the connecting railways.
And there's a straight track between them.
It's quite clear, now you've pointed it out.
It's quite sort of alien, isn't it? A bit crop circley when you see it from that angle.
This is Tan Hill coalfield, which is one of the largest and longest lasting coalfields in England.
This is a peat bog.
It was a lot easier to take your ponies or carts across a hard surface so they created these tracks.
'These moors have been mined since the 14th century.
'Generations of men, digging out coal, far from anywhere.
'This building was actually their lodgings 'and its owners had an interesting sideline.
' The cart is coming up to take their coal away.
They've had a thirsty journey coming up here, - so you try and sell them some of your home-brew.
- Fantastic.
How very British that it's maintained its pub status all these years, in spite of there being no neighbours around.
'But to survive, it's had to reinvent itself.
'Remarkably, Tan Hill Inn has become one of Britain's coolest and most windswept gig venues.
'Everyone from Arctic Monkeys to British Sea Power has 'played on the moor.
' Sometimes, I wonder Thinking 'bout you 'And it's not just the famous who've entertained folk here.
'I'm told the Tan Hill tradition is people just turn up and play.
'Interesting.
' APPLAUSE Well, this feels like the appropriate time to reveal a secret of my own.
A fair while ago, I used to be in an acoustic band and since I'm at the Tan Hill, I've dragged my buddy Gav all the way up the Dales to come and play with me, in front of the fire.
How are you doing, Gav? - Fine, thank you.
- Are you all right? Shall we do it? Love is a burning thing And it makes a fiery ring Bound by wild desire I fell into a ring of fire I fell in to a burning ring of fire I went down, down, down And the flames went higher And it burns, burns, burns The ring of fire The ring of fire.
APPLAUSE Wide open, spectacular space.
That's what North Yorkshire's famous for.
God's Own Country stretches all the way out to the sea.
It's a land grand enough to build on a big scale.
Earlier, Ellie, you showed me these massive circular earth banks.
The Thornborough Henges.
But for me, those henges would have been even better with stones.
And thanks to our viewers' secret suggestions, hidden in these trees, I reckon I've got the real deal for you, Ellie.
But it's smaller than you might imagine.
- So, where are you taking me too, then? - You'll have to wait and see.
It's a secret! - You have to look for signs.
- Oh, really? - Big rocks.
- There's one.
- It's not big enough.
- What about that one? - No, that's no good.
- Wow! That's awesome! - That's not it.
That's quite impressive, but it's better than that.
Better than that! - What do you reckon? - Oh, my goodness! Look at this! How weird, in the middle of the woods, to have this! - It's like a mini Stonehenge.
- It is.
Come down here.
We'll go inside.
Wow! What a bizarre place! Look at these enormous stones.
It's brilliant, isn't it? It's extraordinary! - I could sacrifice you on here, look.
- Or an old goat! Yeah.
What's this big worship stone? I like it.
'So how come these ancient standing stones are here?' 'Aha! That's the secret! They're not ancient.
' 'They're not ancient?' So, what's it all about? Who built it? This guy called William Danby went off across the continent, saw a temple similar to this and thought, right, well, I want one on my estate.
I'm going to get one built.
In the 1820s.
It was not based on Stonehenge, not built by the Druids? No, it's not 5,000 years old, sorry.
But really, I mean, what a great idea, - his little secret folly on his own farm.
- Yeah.
- Great place for a party.
- You should get one your garden.
- The wine glasses will fall off this.
THEY LAUGH Look at this, I can hide out in one of these little places.
- Through there.
- You look good in there.
Why did he do it? Well, there was lots of unemployment locally and he wanted to give the guys work, so he said, you know, build these things.
- I mean, pretty bizarre, isn't it? - It's really bizarre.
Do you know what? I really like this place, because I love it when filthy rich people do interesting things with their money.
Danby had this place built and it's going to last forever.
Times were tough in the early 1800s, when this folly was built.
TRAIN ENGINE WHISTLES But prosperity was about to power into this part of North Yorkshire.
That wealth was hewn from local rock, iron ore stripped from the land and carried away by rail.
'Nowadays, this historic steam train still runs to the coast, 'carrying tourists like me.
' How come I don't get to ride on the train? I'd really enjoy that.
Ah.
Very nice.
This is perfectly civilised.
The train rattles through God's Own Country .
.
steaming across the North York Moors, out to the coast at Whitby.
That's where I've arrived, Adam, in search of a secret, of course.
Mind the gap.
Next stop, the mysterious Whitby Yards.
A secret world lost within this coastal town.
That's what I'm here to discover.
I don't know about you, but whenever I get to a new place I love the idea of being able to see behind the scenes, through the doors, or down the stairwells, but obviously far too polite to ask.
Well, today, I've got a licence to be nosy! Hello, you.
Hello, old friend.
Just off the high street, hidden from prying eyes, tiers of back-to-back houses were built into Whitby's steep cliffs, to house fishing families.
'Passages known to locals as The Yards, 'Whitby's best kept secret.
' Wow.
- Hey, Joyce.
- Hello.
- It's a secret hidden world down here.
I know, it's lovely, isn't it? Joyce Stango lives in Linskill Square.
She's letting me in on the secret lives of Whitby's once crowded yard.
There were 17 listed accommodations here.
There was reputed to have been one family of 14 - that lived in number one at one time.
- My God.
You can see why the yard would've become an extension of the home, if you had 14 people in there.
There used to be baths, tin baths, hung outside the houses, so the kids would virtually bath outside sometimes - and then just tip the water down the drain.
- Remarkable.
- So there could possibly have been 200, maybe more, just in this little area here.
- Oh, easily.
Back then, Whitby was one of Britain's most important whaling ports.
Streets were packed with fishermen, whose lifeblood was the sea.
It must have been quite noisy and smelly with so many people.
Oh, it would've been very smelly at one time, particularly when the whaling industry was in full swing, because they were boiling the blubber and the smell must have been horrendous and you can imagine it with all the coal fires and the soot being produced.
Life in The Yards was tough, insanitary, poor.
'But one thing these communities did haveeach other.
' I had a neighbour that lived in number 8 for over 50 years and she showed me a photograph of the yard, celebrating VE Day.
And that shows the amount of people that you can fit in to one yard.
- Yikes! - It's absolutely amazing.
They've even managed to squeeze in a table.
Well, this was a celebration day.
There's never enough biscuits to go around.
THEY LAUGH I know! Would've been nice to have been there.
'So, what became of those back-to-back houses? 'These days, the yards are transformed.
'Say goodbye to the slums.
' - Hello! - Hi.
In Clarks Yard, Joy Peach is one of the lucky few to have a garden.
- Hi, Joy.
- Hello, Ellie.
Good to see you.
- You too! I was not expecting gardens in the yards! Right, well, there are only two yards which have gardens.
And we have gardens because, originally, there was a three-storey terrace of cottages here.
It would have been a dark, dismal yard, just this wide with three storeys each side.
It would have been dreadful.
But, fortunately, they were all knocked down in the slum clearance in the '20s, '30s, whatever.
So we're each left with a garden.
You've made full use of it, as well.
It's like a Chelsea Best In Show.
It's heaven, basically.
Heaven.
GULL CAWS Heaven on earth.
Whitby's secret maze of alleyways are a real revelation.
- And I've heard there's still more treasure tucked away.
- Hey, Ellie! - Are you all right? - Yes.
'Chris Darby's kindly pointing me 'to a special view of Whitby the yards reveal.
' If you go to the top of the steps, but don't run Oh, I really won't be, I can assure you of that! You can then look down on this side of Church Street and see how amazing the yards are.
There's a yard behind that house, there's a yard behind my house, and so they go on here.
So, all the way up here.
Thanks, Chris.
See you later.
I've been to Whitby loads of times but I had no idea that, away from all this hustle and bustle of the harbour-side were all these alleyways, leading to stories of the past.
Now, THAT is a view! Thank goodness some of them have remained to tell us about their secret lives.
Seeking out the secrets of North Yorkshire, Ellie and I are discovering they all draw us back to the land.
The stark, yet spectacular moorland.
Its deep valleys and lush, green dales.
But then, there are secret spots only the locals know.
I've been told about a lovely lake down here somewhere that's little-known, so I really wanted to see if I could find it, but at the moment, I can't see the water for the woods! Lake Gormire is lost in a thick ring of trees.
Few know the watery delights waiting deep within the interior.
Gormire Lake has been hidden away here since the Ice Age.
And it's deeply mysterious.
Its secret is that no-one knows where the water flows in or out.
And because of that, myths and legends have been built up around it.
And there's one folklore, that a witch was being chased across the moor and she takes a jump for freedom from the top of the cliffs up there, and lands in the bottomless lake, and is gone for ever.
Gormire Lake's not the only overlooked gem around here.
Those towering cliffs reveal a secret, too.
The writer of the James Herriot books, Alf Wight, reckoned he'd found England's finest view here.
But climber Franco Cookson disagrees.
He believes there is a finer prospect by far, here on Garbutt Wood Nature Reserve.
And he's keen to share it with us.
But getting there may be a problem.
- Ha-ha-ha! - Oh, no! Are you serious? Oh, I don't like that! Oh-ho! - Do you do much climbing? - No! What about you? - No.
Up and down the stairs.
That's about it.
Franco, what's this all about? Well, this is Whitestone Cliff.
It's probably the most dramatic cliff in the North York Moors.
There's supposed to be a sign around here that it was the James Herriot author's favourite view.
Yeah, it points you that way but I think the best view's from the top here.
- So, you disagree with him? - Yeah, I reckon.
To enjoy Franco's favourite view We've got to become rock climbers?! Right, go on, then, Ellie.
You're first.
Ladies first.
- What a gent! - What a gent(!) - Good luck, Ellie.
- Yeah, thanks, man! 'We've been given special access to these cliffs.
' Hang on, hang on! 'Now I wish we hadn't!' SHE SIGHS Definitely feeling at one with the landscape.
I've never been so intimate with a rock, in all my life.
Which way now? Ooh, my word.
HE PANTS It's seriously difficult.
And pretty scary! We're a long way up here.
And I'm struggling.
HE EXHALES Just having a little quiet moment here.
Gathering my strength for the last bit.
Haven't seen the view.
Going to treat myself to it when I get there.
OK, last big push.
Oh, my legs are shaking! It's justunbelievable.
HEARTBEAT QUICKENING I've never climbed anything this high in my life.
And I've still got quite a long way to go.
Not there yet.
Another few feet.
Oh! HE PANTS HE GASPS - Nearly there! - Brilliant! - Oh, man, I'm shaky! I feel like kissing the ground.
I'm going to! Mwah! Oh, my goodness! I didn't dare look at that! Oh, shaky, shaky.
Oh! Wow! It's incredible! THAT is a huge view! Feel like you can see the whole of the country.
To get to the top, and see that view - oh! North Yorkshire's been truly wonderful.
We've discovered the secret life of stonemasons.
Uncovered the mysteries of ancient ancestors.
I made time for a pint in Britain's highest pub.
And sang for your supper above a moorland mine.
We've met some incredible people and seen some stunning scenery.
And you and I are quite far away from home here, but I think if you come to a place and really seek out its stories with an open heart, you can really get a sense of its secret lives.