KINGSDALE visiting ROWTEN POT & YORDAS CAVE

 


Summary

Date - 21st March 2012 Distance - 7.75 miles
Ascent -
850ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Lay by on Kingsdale road (NY 691757)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

Allen, was sitting on front of Dad's laptop, navigating to the pictures from the walk last Sunday, with Grizzly & Tetley looking on.

"It was a good day, and great too having Uncle Bob for company. We really explored Low Barbon Fell like never before", said Tetley.

"The deviation from Bull Pot Farm to see Ease Gill Kirk, was rather a disappointment, as it was not very spectacular, but at least we have now been there", added Grizzly.

"There are a good lot of photos, so we should be able to make a story out of the day", said Allen.

So what's next?", said Grizzly.

"Well we are supposed to be having a walk with Uncle Eric tomorrow", replied Tetley.

"That will be just great as it is literally ages since we walked with him, what with Uncle Eric not being well, and then Dad being ill over the winter", enthused Allen.

It was then that Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back, strolled in. "We bring the flasks of tea, and good news too", said Shaun.

"Oh super", cried Allen, I'm.....

"Gasping for a mug of tea", finished Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter

Allen went and grabbed the mugs, and Grizzly, got the tuck tin, full of delicious biscuits.

Then all settled with steaming mugs, Little Eric said, "Dad has spoken with Uncle Eric and the walk is on for tomorrow. We are going to Kingsdale, near Ingleton."

Tetley thought a moment, then said, "it was early 2004, when Dad last did that walk, and then only Shaun and I were in the walking group."

"Great", exclaimed Grizzly, "that means for Allen, Little Eric and I, it will be completely new ground.

"Roll on tomorrow", called out Allen, helping himself to another biscuit.

 

The Walk

The arrangement was to meet Uncle Eric, at the start of the walk. This was a pull in on the road into Kingsdale. This road is an alternative to the Barbondale road, as a route to Dentdale. The only drawback if you are on your own, is that it is one of the few roads left that are gated. Fortunately today we were not going as far as the gated part. The first day of spring, but the day was overcast, and there was a cool wind at times.

"Good morning Uncle Eric, good to see you after all this time."

"Good to see you too, Lads", he replied.

"Although I have done this walk before, it was in January 2004, and I have little memory of it, so it will be like doing it for the first time", Dad remarked to Uncle Eric, as they got ready for the off.

Meanwhile we were looking along Kingsdale, getting our bearings. Ouch, sorry no pun intended.

Shaun was scruntinising the map, and said, "the fell covered in cloud is Whernside, and the buildings are at Braida Garth Farm, which we will return through towards the end of the walk. Initially, the outwards route will be higher up the slopes immediately on the left, above which is the fell Gragareth."

"We have climbed that a few times", remarked Tetley, visiting the cairns known as The Three Men of Gragareth, on its Leck side."

"Thanks for all the information", replied Little Eric, "it has given me a much better idea where we are going."

From the lay by, it was just a few yards back along the road, to the gate on the right, beyond which, the climbing path zigzagged, and then meandered on through the scars with Gragareth above.

"The walk instructions say that the Three Men can be seen", said Allen.

"Wishful thinking Lad, as they are on the other side of the fell", replied Tetley.

This was limestone country of course, and passing some boulders, Little Eric said, "they seem to be standing on a sort of plinth."

"That's because the boulders are not actually limestone, but erratics, left by the movement of glaciers, millions of years ago, in a similar manner to those we saw on Norber, above Austwick", lectured Tetley.

Unsurprisingly we saw examples of limestone pavement too, like this below.

Eventually a junction was reached with the Turbary Road, a grassy track that runs along a natural shelf on the slopes of Gragareth. Turbary is the ancient right to cut peat or turf. This was once done on the slopes of Gragareth and transported along this track, hence its name.

At the junction, we walked right, where the view ahead becomes dominated by Whernside on the other side of the valley. At 2416ft it is the highest fell in the Yorkshire Dales.

"That was my first summit", exclaimed Little Eric. "I had only been adopted the day before, and it was quite a baptism, as the winds were terrific, even by Ribblehead, where we started, never mind at the summit. Still, I did hang in to have my photo taken on my own by the trig point."

Through the gate, the path bent left and then continued on below Gragareth passing though a number of gates. Along here we passed Rowten Pot, which is one of a number of hill top entrances to the West Kingsdale Cave System. We peered carefully over the edge to see the stream running below.

"We continue on through that gate ahead", called out Shaun. "There will be a wall to our right, and we need to find the gate in it, so we can descend to the road through the valley."

At the road, before we continued the walk, we first went through an adjacent gate on the left to have a look at Yorda's Cave. This was previously a Victorian Showcave, in which evidence of human habitation was found. Click the link for an interesting insight and historical description from the 19th century - Yordas Cave

We did venture just a little way inside, but without the aid of a torch any proper exploration was not safely possible. Here we are looking from inside.

Returning to the road, and just a few yards right, we climbed the sturdy stone step stile to gain access to the opposite side of the valley.

The path led on with the fence on the right, to a corner where our route was then right, continuing on by the fence.

"What is that pile of stones across the other side of the beck?", asked Grizzly.

Photo taken on walk in Jan 2004

"It is called the Apron full of Stones", replied Shaun. Then really showing off, he went on, "it is an ancient ring cairn possibly dating back to the early Bronze Age. It was excavated in 1972 and a cremation burial was found with no grave goods. Interestingly too the stones are gritstone and sandstone, which is unusual since the area is limestone. This suggests the construction represents clearance of glacial deposits scattered over a considerable area."

"You are clever", replied Little Eric.

"Well to be honest I found the information on the Internet", Shaun replied. "I must too give credit for original source of the information" :

King, Alan (1978) ‘Apron Full of Stones, a prehistoric cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire’ Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 50 pp25-30

White, Robert (2002) The Yorkshire Dales. A Landscape Through Time. Ilkley: Great Northern Books

A bank of stones had been built, on this side of the beck, perhaps as a flood defence, and Uncle Eric said, "I think this would perhaps we a good place to have lunch."

"Great", cried Allen, "I'm hungry and ready for a drink of tea too", as he slipped his rucksack off.

Looking at the stones, Uncle Eric spotted two flat ones, that were moved and with a bit of civil engineering proved to be great to provide a seat for Dad and himself.

We were all duly fortified after having our sandwiches etc, and before we set off again, we tried out the seats, ourselves. Well you did not think you were going to get away without us making an appearance.

So, settled once more in Dad's rucksack, and checking that nothing had been left behind, the path by the fence was followed, that after about half a mile came immediately below the valley road. Here we crossed to the east side of Kingsdale Beck, by the substantial footbridge.

"We're heading for the buildings of Braida Garth Farm, half left ahead", called out Shaun.

On reaching them it was over a stile, then through a gate and over another stile to get through the buildings. Here a flock of sheep were all penned up, and we thought that perhaps they were due to have lambs? So yes, we have failed again, in writing a story without any pictures of sheep.

Beyond the farm the path led on for about a mile, a number of walls being surmounted by stiles, and bringing us below Twistleton Scar End, to a track. It was right here, crossing the footbridge over Kingsdale Beck, to the road.

Photo taken on walk in Jan 2004

Here we noticed that the track if followed in the opposite direction led to Oddies Lane. Looking closely at the map Shaun said, "that is in fact the road from Ingleton to Ribblehead."

"Gosh, we have driven along that countless times and we never knew it was called that", exclaimed Tetley.

Now it was just a climb uphill for about a quarter mile, to regain the cars.

"Well I think I speak for us all in saying that that was a most interesting walk and we have all enjoyed it", said Allen. "Thank you for suggesting it Uncle Eric."

"You're welcome Lads", he replied.

Time for tea and cake now. Uncle Eric suggested going to the tea room at Cowan Bridge. This is attached to the shop. The cake was excellent and the tea elegantly served in china cups. The tea cosy was extremely fancy, and is one of the features of the place. It can be heartily recommended.

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