View Full Version : Archived: The forgotten ruins of Dob Park lodge, Nr Otley, Yorks, Jan 10

19-01-2010, 06:46 PM
High on the windswept moorland of North Yorkshire is Dob Park lodge, ruined and forgotten. Originally one of three hunting lodges, this would have provided welcome respite from the scouring winds and the biting Yorkshire weather. Scheduled in 1997 as an Ancient Monument, and Grade II listed, Dob Park lodge appears to be in the winter of its days.

An embarrassing gallop across snow bound fields with ripped trousers after an unfortunate barbed wire experience led me to the drove road, muddied and wet. The melting snow made arrival on site more difficult than it should have been, yet within minutes I was at the building.

It became clear that the middle of the lodge had collapsed at some point in the past. Fire? Neglect? I am unable to find out more from my research. It looks like a large bay window was once here, judging by the stone work.

Dob Park Lodge was originally built in the 17th century, and like many would have provided the guests with a high vantage point, and possibly an opportunity for some to participate by firing cross bows from the upper floor. Many hunting lodges would have had spacious rooms, for guests. Today, the remaining third floor windows look in a perilous situation.

Inside the lodge, the frozen ground was covered with dressed stone, no doubt once part of the house. I love the wonderfully simple carved stone fireplace.

The other part of the house was in bad way too. An enormous fireplace was at the bottom, with others further up the flue. The door frames on the left led off a tower with a long gone staircase inside.

Inside the tower looking up. It is clear to see where the stone steps would have been, and high up towards the third floor is the remains of plasterwork.

It was sad to see that the lintel above the fireplace was cracked. It must have been many winters since a roaring fire would have warmed visitors to here.

The area is within the Royal Forest of Knaresborough, a former medieval hunting park, originally of William the Conquerer, and later John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. It was easy to imagine the people who would have gathered here for the past four hundred years, and the warmth the stone walls would have provided.
The sun briefly appeared, and lit up the stone work before I disappeared again. I love this place, and after seeing it on Flickr headed out to see it for myself. It has been impossible to find anything about it, except it is on the Buildings at Risk register. Hopefully something will happen before Dob Park lodge finally succumbs to the elements.

19-01-2010, 11:22 PM
Thanks readers. This has been an impossible one to research. There has been nothing online at all about it to explain its fate, apart from on wonderful quote written by someone who walked around Yorkshire in 1892. It would appear it was ruined then too. I guess the spelling is due to poor writing on maps. Apparently the area was also called Dog Park.

Deep down and far ahead, the Washburn is embraced by a bower of branches from under which the waters glisten in the sunlight like brilliant silver; onward, past honeysuckle, foxglove, fern, and wild rose, around which are flitting the honeybee and butterfly. Above, the ruins of Bob Park Castle peer down from their elevated position on vale.