As Janet Ames’ article (campaign to put river’s stones back, 30 September) points out, a modern ford was built adjacent to Danby’s Duck Bridge to provide a safe river crossing and protect this nationally important bridge (it is both a scheduled monument and a listed building) from further damage by vehicles attempting to use it to cross the river.
Following investigation by North Yorkshire County Council, it was found that the only location for the Irish ford was where the original stepping stones crossed the river. The National Park Authority asked for the stones to be put back as close to Duck Bridge as possible as they were part of the character of the monument and added to the overall charm of the area.
Due to the depth and flow of the water, it was considered unsafe to put the stepping stones upstream of the bridge and their current location was deemed the best solution. There is no public access to the land above the stepping stones, but the authority felt it better that the stones were kept as an aesthetic feature rather than be removed completely.
Graham Lee, Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority, Helmsley by email