on Nov 05, 2016
Region: United Kingdom
Route type: Hike
Total climb: 650.43 ft Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 10.59km, 6.58 miles. Like (1)
An easy walk with panoramic views over the surrounding moorsThe pattern of medieval rig and furrow cultivation is visible on the hillside around Landshot. Thefields, called landshots, were not enclosed by hedges, walls or fences but each was separated from the next by a strip of unploughed land known as a headland.
The fact that cultivation was taking place so far up the hill suggests that the climate in medieval times must have been more favourable than it is now. Todholes, like all the other farmsteads in this valley, is mentioned in 16th century documents. ‘Tod’, meaning fox, is probably an Anglo-Saxon word and its frequent use in place names is evidence that foxes were as widespread then as they are now. Winter’s Gibbet stands in an eerie, wind- swept spot, to the south east of Elsdon. In 1791 William Winter murdered Margaret Crozier at The Raw, a few miles north of Elsdon. He was caught, tried and hanged in Newcastle with his two accomplices.
His body was then brought to Elsdon, a gibbet was erected, and his body was hung up until it rotted. A carved effigy of Winter’s head can today be seen hanging on the gibbet, although the head tends to disappear and has to be replaced from time to time.