DID you know that the Yorkshire Wolds is the site of a meteorite fall, the largest to be observed crashing to the Earth?

Or that the Wolds plays host to the oldest horse race in the country, the Kiplingcotes Derby, a race run every year since 1519?

These are but two of the stories revealed in a new book about Yorkshire’s forgotten landscape by York photographer Simon Palmour, who has captured the mystery of this beautiful, but too often overlooked, part of the county in his evocative words-and-pictures photo essay devoted to the Wolds.

Gazette & Herald:

York photographer Simon Palmour

The High Wolds: A Photo Essay contains more than 100 images, in black and white and colour, with accompanying text that explores the Wolds' rich history and geography. Whether a hidden railway tunnels, a single hiker on a lonely bridleway, or a wintry sun shining on an ancient Roman road, Simon’s photographs reveal the striking light and natural textures of the area, "reminding us of the dignity and majesty that can be found in this unheralded part of the world".

The book is the product of a ten-year quest by Simon, whose work has appeared in exhibitions throughout Britain, including at the Royal Geographical Society in London, with the aim of “doing justice to what should be a much more appreciated landscape".

"I live in York, knee-deep in rich history, beautiful buildings and attentive tourists. To the west are the Yorkshire Dales, stately limestone landscapes, coaches and caves. To the south west lies the millstone grit of the Pennine moors, where Bronte and Hindley links lurk amid the grim landscape with industrial heritage in every dyke," says Simon.

Gazette & Herald:

Holm Dale, by Simon Palmour

"To the north are the North York Moors, an uplifting heather-clad plateau that comes to the sea at Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay and Scarborough. A couple of National Parks, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, plenty of literary connections, several steam railways, long-distance trails and a hoard of reasons to attract tourists, walkers and cyclists.

"And then there are the Wolds: not a National Park, nor an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, barely known in Yorkshire, never mind nationally, but I can’t help feeling if this landscape were just outside London, it would be world renowned and lauded," he says.

A photographer for more than 35 years, Simon has taken his photography in a more abstract and monochrome direction over the past 15 years, focussing more on textures, buildings and landscapes. "Over the past several years, I have delved deeper and deeper into the Wolds and been rewarded with some treasured sights and memories. This book is my way of sharing these neglected gems with others," he says. "I show the images that catch the essence of what it is that I love about the area. I concentrate on the High Wolds, home to the highest ground and the deepest valleys."

Gazette & Herald:

Rudston, by Simon Palmour

His Wolds photographs were exhibited last summer at Pocklington Arts Centre, as well as featuring in his 2018 York Open Studios show at The Mount School, and they have emerged as a true labour of love. "It is not easy to photograph the Wolds. Visit the Lakes or the Alps and it is obvious what to focus on: the crags, the lakes the rivers, the forests.

"The delights of the Wolds are harder to see, to describe and to photograph. Looking at available books of photographs of the area, and they are few, I was struck by how they failed to capture what was there.

"A beautiful slack could end up looking like a rather dull field. So the challenge was clear; attempt to use photographs to capture what it is that makes the Wolds so special."

Gazette & Herald:

The book cover to Simon Palmour's The High Wolds

The High Wolds: A Photo Essay is available as an A4 book on high-quality paper at £20. As an introductory offer, postage and packing is free, and a 20 per cent reduction applies for orders of two or more books, if ordered directly from Simon at palmour@gmail.com The book is available on Amazon too.

Win the book

Courtesy of Simon Palmour, The Press has two signed copies of The High Wolds: A Photo Essay to be won.

Question: Where did Simon Palmour hold an exhibition last summer?

Send your answer, with your name, address and daytime phone number, either on a postcard, to Charles Hutchinson, High Wolds Competition, The Press, 84-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN, or by email to charles.hutchinson@nqyne.co.uk, marked High Wolds Competition, by February 1. Usual competition rules apply.