The exposed section of the Kirby Bank Trod (known locally as The Pannierman Way) is part of a long distance route. It has been characterised as being a “Long Trod”, requiring “considerable resource and supra-parochial organisation” to build it; its construction representing “an economic venture of some significance.”
The section is 403 metres long.
It rests on a man-made, raised embankment. It is paved with locally distinctive sandstone flags, sourced from nearby quarries. There are five waymarkers (two being double) and route-marking hawthorn trees. It has also sets of smaller parallel stones (purpose unknown) and the Peddar Stone – a large flat stone slab, characteristic of a Trod. Continuous use of the Trod has worn a regular groove in the stone. The exposed section is well–preserved. There are sledway courses that connect with the flagged route. The Trod was constructed for the use of packhorse trains, up to forty horses in number. The Kirby Bank Trod is the only footpath to the north out of Bilsdale, connecting with routes that lead to the River Tees and on to Durham. It is significant that the section of the busy A172 north out of Stokesley is still known as “Pannierman Lane”.
The Kirby Trod is unique in two ways. Firstly, the “Long Trod” lies entirely on rights of way. Secondly, and most significantly, with its clearly observed commercial and industrial context it illustrates important aspects of England’s social and economic development. In consequence of that it is of special interest, nationally. The local history group has succeeded in its application to have The Trod listed and has committed itself to an annual maintenance day. For details of the listing, click here. The exposed section – the subject of the application – has remained unchanged for centuries.. One motive for listing this sandstone Trod is that it represents a particular historical type of thoroughfare which is unique to the northern end of the North York Moors. It has been estimated that there has already been an 80 percent loss of the Trods over the past century. We wish to prevent any further loss.