Across the Moor


“…I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes: precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon-light of the Grange.” Charlotte Bronte, from Wuthering Heights

Anna and I went to Woodhouse Moor to exercise today. Moors have been nothing more than a romantic setting from British novels to me, and now I find that I will walk through the moor each day between my new house and the University of Leeds. But like many things I have read in British novels, I really have no idea what constitutes a moor. gives the following definition:


A tract of open uncultivated upland; a heath.

Ok, then really…what constitutes a heath? Here I have found another term that I had only previously encountered in Victorian British novels.


heath   /hēTH/


  1. An area of open uncultivated land, esp. in Britain, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses.
  2. Vegetation dominated by dwarf shrubs of the heath family: “heath vegetation”.

heather – moor – moorland

So, here is Woodhouse Moor. And yes, that is a skate park in the background. Can’t you see Heathcliff rolling over the banks and coming to a quick tailstop, catching his board in one hand?


The moor was lovely today, sunny but cool.

trees on the moor

Maybe, what makes a moor are really the secret gardens, which Woodhouse Moor does seem to have. And peeking through the fencing, I even saw vegetables, roses and other plants (but if a moor is uncultivated?)

secret garden 2

And then at the edge of the moor, there are less secret, but beautifully cultivated gardens.

moor gardensI

So, this term “moor” is still something of a mystery to me, but isn’t mystery what really makes it a moor?


One thought on “Across the Moor

  1. The bit about Heathcliff and the skateboard was great!! 🙂 I just tweeted this out for you…are you on twitter? I’ve had a good, make that GREAT day in Sheffield! Arrived at 12:00 to the hotel, slept, then ventured out for a FAB dinner and drink. Looks like this city is perfect for me!! I’ll get a phone tomorrow hopefully and send my number to you. Xoxo


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