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Roseberry Topping

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It’s a distinctive hill situated near Newton and Great Ayton under Roseberry. The summit of Roseberry Topping has a half-cone shape that’s distinctive with a jagged cliff. Roseberry Topping forms the area’s symbolic image, and it’s featured as the logo of Cleveland, which is now defunct. 

At 320 metres, Roseberry Topping was traditionally believed to be North York Moors’ highest hill. However, Urra Moor, which nearby is 450 metres, making it the highest. It offers views of the monument that’s situated at Eston Nab and Captain Cook’s Monument situated at Easby Moor. 

For thousands of years, the area of Roseberry has been attracting attention because of its shape, which is believed to be distinctive. A prominent Bronze Age hoard was also discovered on the Roseberry Topping slopes, and it was taken to the Sheffield City Museum. Roseberry Topping was occupied during the final era of the three-age system (Iron Age). Walled enclosures plus remains of huts that date from that era are still visible in the vicinity of the hill. 

The hill was possibly held in special honour by the Vikings, the Norse seafarers who eventually settled in Cleveland and gave the area most of its place names. The Vikings gave Roseberry Topping its current name: first attested as Othenesberg in 1119, its 2nd element is believed to derive from ‘rock’ (Old Norse bjarg). The 1st element must have been the personal name of an Old Norse, Óthinn or Authunn, which gave Óthinn’s/’Authunn’s rock ‘. 

The Roseberry Topping is among the few known pagan names found in England that were named after the complex and enigmatic Norse god Odin, then paralleled by Wodnesberg, an Old English name, found in Woodnesborough for example. The name changed to Othensberg, then to Ohenseberg and Ouesberry and finally settled on Roseberry. As for Topping, it’s a Yorkshire (County of York) dialectal derivation of the topp, from the Old English, meaning ‘top (of a hill)’. ​

The final location to see in Middlesbrough is Newham Grange County Farm.

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