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Rock's role

Great Dug Dale lies in the heart of the country that provided the inspiration for some of artist David Hockney's most iconic works.

Part of the Warter Estate, the dale is now open access land, allowing the public to stray from the footpath that once allowed just tantalising glimpses of the archetypal wolds valley.

At its southern end is a huge boulder.  At least one internet source speculates that it is a glacial relic, dumped in Great Dug Dale by the tumult of meltwater that stemmed from the retreat of the ice sheets.

An inscription, however, missed by many, offers a clue to its true - much more recent - origin.

Low on the side facing the dale are the carved words: "He loved this place."

Lord Normanby, who bought the estate in the 1960s, often used to hold family picnics at the spot. He asked that when he died, a memorial should be placed there.

He died in 1994, and was succeeded by his son, who sold the estate to billionaire Mr Malcolm Healey.

There was a proviso in the sale that Lord Normanby's request be honoured, and the rock was transported to the site to fulfil the undertaking.

I am grateful to the clerk of Warter Parish Council, Mrs Linda Jones, for her assistance.