Today, whilst toodling around this here InterWeb thing, I happened upon a surprisingly good website on Historic Cleveland (the UK “county”, not the US city.) On it, I found the diaries of North Yorkshire landowner and businessman, Ralph Jackson, and a concise and yet wonderfully informative timeline.
As is so often the way, I learned a few things that I didn’t previously know and “coloured in” a few facts of which I was already aware — such as:
- We have a stone circle at Commondale, dating from the Neolithic period (3500-1700 BC.)
- The fort on Eston Nab (I look up at Eston Nab as I write this) was Bronze Age (1700-600 BC.)
- “In the mid-1300s [BC] the Black Death and floods ravage North Yorkshire.”
- Tocketts Mill dates from Medieval (1066 to 1500) times.
- “Natural disasters hit Cleveland in the mid-eighteenth century. Food shortages in the Great Winter of 1739-40 lead to riots, rinderpest epidemic closed cattle markets for up to six years, floods and frequent outbreaks of smallpox, cholera and typhus.”
- In the 1800s, “Stokesley is a centre for printing and publishing (Braithwaite, Pratt, Tweddell) but by the end of the century has lost much of its commercial importance.”
I’ve never written an historical novel but…