Hackfall is a beautiful landscape open to all.

Richard Pocoke 1751


I went two miles down near the Youre to see a fine wood of Mr. Aislabie’s called Hack-fall; … our road was on a rising ground having a view to the north side, first of fine plantations, and then of hanging ground and hills covered with wood. We came to the pleasant spot through which ridings are cut, which command a view of the Youre of Masham and of two gentlemen’s seats seen through these ridings, and cascades of water are seen tumbling down the hills. But the most beautiful place on a height over the river, where there is an octagon Gothick building lin’d with a rock-work of that sort of stone which is commonly called petrifyed moss and roots which they dig near it. This commands a fine view of the river and woods on each side. Both above and below to the river and to the north the ground rises high, and is all covered with wood, being the estate of Lord Bruce, and is known by the name of Dansil Hall. There are two walks down to this building with a rivlet running on the outside of each of them, and falling down in beautiful cascades; one of these walks leads up towards Nutwith hill, a fine down to the south, at the east end of which is an old fortification call’d a camp, which may be about three furlongs in circumference, and seems to have been wall’d and might be a place for people to retire to in time of war; the whole top of the hill being naturally so strong as that it might well serve for a camp, being about 2 miles in circumference, and probably was the British Camp, as about Dansil on the other side might be a Danish Camp. On the top of this hill are quarries of a fine yellow free stone, and there is a good view from it of Swinton Hall, Mr. Danbie’s, and of some other seats. In the wood below I met with the following plants I had not observed before, 1st, Aspenda, or Wood-rose; 2nd, Caryophilata montana purpurea, or Mountain Avon; 3rd, Saxifraga rotundi folia alba, or round Icav’d white Saxifrage; 4th, Alearium, wild garlick. The second has a flower much like Columbine.