HIGH BENTHAM, BURTON IN LONSDALE, INGLETON, HIGH BENTHAM CIRCULAR

 


Summary

Date - 21st March 2013 & 11th September 2014 with Uncle Eric Distance - 9 miles
Ascent -
635ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Main car park, High Bentham (SD 6674 6934)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

It was Monday, so as usual Dad and Uncle Brian were at Elaine's Tearoom in Feizor, with some of our pals. The day was cold again with snow flurries from time to time. Little Eric said "do you think we will get out for a walk this week?"

Allen put this mug of tea down, picked up the iPad then after a minute replied, "the weather looks to to dry all week, so there is a good chance I reckon."

Helping himself to another piece of Grizzly's delicious flapjack, Shaun remarked, "that was an interesting walk we did last week with Uncle Eric, over the Torver Commons. We had never been there before, but it was nice seeing the lovely remote tarns, and there was the nice section on the path beside Coniston Water."

"Yes", agreed Tetley, "and we saw that seemingly long disused little chapel at Sunny Bank."

"I have tried to find out more about that, but as yet to no avail", added Grizzly. "Maybe I will ask Dad to have a go, as he is pretty wizard at finding such information on the Internet."

"Well if anyone can find out more, it's Dad", said Allen.

He and Uncle Brian will be having a great time as always at Elaine's and I bet Dad has the giant Yorkshire pudding with beef or the like, as he is pretty much a creature of habit", laughed Tetley. Then after a moment, he said, "It would be nice if we could come up with a walk, to suggest to him, when they get home."

"I agree", replied Little Eric. "Any ideas, anyone?"

Grizzly replied, "I think it would be nice to go to Yorkshire again, and if we plan it right, Dad can go to Elaine's again for a meal afterwards."

"Good idea!", said Tetley. "How about we see if there is anything we could do further on from Long Preston, towards Skipton.

Shaun went and got the map, then spread it out for us all to look at. We spent a not inconsiderable time tracing the paths in the proposed area, but in the end frustrated, Shaun said, "we can get a good outwards route, but then there are not other paths for us to complete the circuit."

"It's no good I agree, so let's try another area", suggested Tetley.

"How about High Bentham?", said Allen, after a few minutes. We have done walks from there to the south and east, but I cannot recall that we have walked in a northerly direction."

"Right" said Shaun, turning the map over, "let's see what it looks like."

Tetley peered over his shoulder and said, "we can get north to Burton in Lonsdale, which is and interesting village."

"Then there are paths east that will take us to the outskirts of Ingleton", went on Grizzly.

"So far so good", replied Shaun.

Meanwhile Little Eric, was studying the map closely and said, "there is a path running south-west that will take us over fields and the the golf course into High Bentham to complete the circuit."

"I think that will do, and for sure none of us, Dad included have been on any of these paths before", said Tetley.

"OK, so we have a plan, let's have another mug of tea, then I will go and see if Dad is home, so I can ask him what he thinks", replied Allen.

In the event it was a little while before Dad arrived home as he had gone to see Eileen and family at Newby Head Farm, and also get some of her delicious cakes. When Allen finally got to ask him, Dad thought our idea was excellent saying we would be doing it on Thursday.

"Yippee!"

 

The Walk

We got ourselves ready in good time, then settled in the car, having called goodbye to Gladly, who was helping Uncle Brian with the Telegraph crossword. The day was to be dry and sunny, but it was windy, so making for a cold day - winter certainly does not want to give up this year.

The drive was ever so familiar to Dad, being part of one of the routes that he and Uncle Brian take every Monday to go to Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor. We were starting from the market town of High Bentham, Dad using the spacious free car park behind the main street.

As we waited for Dad to get ready, we looked at the route on the map, and Grizzly said, "I bet there will be quite a number of stiles today, how about we count them, as we have done on other walks, as we go along."

"Good idea", responded Allen. "You count them pal, and I will record them in my notebook, so we will have the information to include in the story."

"Ready called out Dad", so we hurried to settle in his rucksack, which he then shouldered.

"OK", said Shaun, "we make for the main street, turning right and then right on the signed footpath between houses."

At the end of first part of the path, it swung right then came to a road by a new housing development. Following the road to its end, the path went left behind the houses. Here we crossed the first stile, then across a field and over another stile to pick up the main path.

"We go right, to that stile in the hedge corner", advised Shaun.

The map indicated that the path then skirted a little left to cross another stile, but Tetley said, "that ruined barn set between the two bare trees and against the blue sky might make a nice shot Dad."

"It is called Haybers Barn", according to the map", added Shaun.

"I think you are right Tetley", replied Dad walking further left than was intended by the route.

When we repeated the walk with Uncle Eric the building had deteriorated further the roof having fallen in and there was security fencing surrounding it to prevent access due to its dangerous state.

That done, Dad walked ahead and then right to the stile, after which we descended, to climb the next wooden cross step stile and the plank bridge over the tiny Ellergill Beck.

"That's five", said Grizzly,

"Noted", replied Allen.

The waymark clearly indicated the route was now right, taking us below the hill, to where yet another path from Bentham joined from the right.

"We keep ahead, over the facing stile", instructed Shaun.

After this the path then climbed to pass between wall corners to left and right. Two more stiles allowed us to cross the next fields and then it was through a gate on to a wide hedged track, where a stile beside the gate brought us onto the road that runs between Wennington and Ingleton.

"That makes nine stiles in all, so far", called out Grizzly.

"Noted pal", replied Allen.

"Ooh this is fun", enthused Little Eric.

Directly opposite the path continued through a gap stile, and then along the track and over another stile into a field, where we passed a small lake over the fence to the left.

"Now we go over the stile ahead, and then take the one just beyond in the fence to the right", advised Shaun. "The map shows the area beyond is Bentham Moor", he went on.

From here the route was diagonally across the rough ground and down to a corner where a double stile either side of a fenced hedge line, gave access to a field full of sheep and recently born lambs.

"That last counts as two, so that is six from the road", said Grizzly.

"OK, noted", replied Allen.

Hungry, some of the sheep and lambs were clustered round a feeder.

To the left, at the edge of the wood that can be seen in the picture, the ground dropped down to a ladderstile, where beyond we crossed the next field diagonally left to a stile onto the road from Low Bentham to Burton in Lonsdale.

"Well I guess that will be all the stiles on this first third of the walk, so that is eight in all from the other road", called out Grizzly.

"Right pal, I have made a note, and so far that is seventeen in all", replied Allen.

Turning right we headed towards the village of Burton in Lonsdale, dominated by its church, All Saints. This is a Grade II* listed building in the Early English architectural style, built between 1868 and 1876 to a design by Paley & Austin of Lancaster. It is built of sandstone with a slate roof.  The tower is in three stages with buttresses. On its west side are single-light lancet windows in the bottom and middle stages, while the top stage contains lancet bell openings. The tower is then surmounted by a splay-footed spire. The ring consists of six bells, all cast in 1870 by John Warner and Sons. We are grateful to Wikipedia for this information.

The road wound steadily downhill, to cross the River Greta that was deep blue today, then climbing again into the village.

Near the top of the hill, we took the gate into the churchyard, that contains this mock-tudor building with a tiled roof, and covered lych type gateway.

This appeared to lead into the private garden of the adjacent house, so we walked left round the church to get out of the churchyard.

"Can we visit?", asked Grizzly, who amongst us all particularly likes looking round churches.

Sadly however this was not to be possible as the door was securely locked. A sad sign of the times!

"Our route is along the main street towards Ingleton", said Shaun.

"Thanks", replied Dad, "but first let's go and have a look at the Motte & Bailey, once the site of an ancient castle"

Ooh yes", said Little Eric, who is always anxious for knowledge, "but what exactly is a Motte & Bailey?"

Once again, our researcher Grizzly came to the rescue, replying, "simply it is a term used to describe castles that were introduced to England by the Normans, as a base for controlling the native population.

The Motte was a high and extremely steep sided mound that varied in size from 50 to 120 feet in height and 50 to 300 feet in diameter. On top of this was built the Tower or Castle Keep. This was initially of wooden construction serving as a look-out, an elevated fighting point and provided accommodation for the lord or knight. Later they were replaced with stone and called 'Keeps'. They usually consisted of two or three storeys. The Ground Floor typically housed a kitchen and storeroom. The First Floor sometimes housed the Great Hall and the Top Floor housed the lord's apartments.

The Bailey consisted of a much shallower mound and was a defended yard, which contained barracks, stables, livestock and other buildings for storing food, weapons and equipment. Its entrance would have been through a large wooden gate. Some had Guardhouses built on either side too.

The process of excavating the earth to build the mounds created a defensive ditch that surrounded both the Motte & Bailey. This was often filled with water and was the earliest form of the castle moat. In addition the base of the Motte and the Bailey were surrounded by a rampart and palisades. This was a fence or timber wall made with a stake to form a defensive barrier. In the fence that surrounded the Motte would have been a fortified gate, access to which would have been by a wooden bridge from the Bailey during times of peace. In times of siege the bridge was completely removed."

"Wow pal, you have certainly done your homework. Thanks so much for giving us such and insight", said Allen. "It will certainly give us a much better appreciation of the site."

Just a little way along, a gate in the wall allowed access and we walked ahead a little way so that we could get a good view. This shot shows the Motte. The unusual double peaked summit is referred to as a breastwork structure....for obvious reasons. The Motte overall is about 40ft (13m) high and the structure seen today dates from the early 13th century.

To the right front can be seen part of the mound that enclosed the two Baileys that existed on this site. In this wider shot below more of the Bailey can be seen with its defensive ditch. On the far left can be seen a gap in the Bailey mound that perhaps may have been the entrance.

"This has been really interesting and made much more so by all the information you gave us Grizzly", said Little Eric.

"I agree" said Tetley, who then went on, "I can see Ingleborough shining white under its blanket of snow, poking out behind the Motte. Do you think it is worth a picture?"

"Yes", replied Dad.

Allen then said, "I don't know about the rest of you, but all this has made me hungry."

"Now you say it, I am ready for a sandwich and a piece of Grizzly's cake", replied Tetley.

"There is a seat by the road in front of the church", said Shaun. So this is where we sat chatting about what we had seen, so far.

Dad was ready for the off again first, as unlike us who have to have at least two sandwiches and two pieces of cake each, hardly eats anything. We guess this is because he is working up an appetite for the visit to the tearoom afterwards, which today was to be his favourite, Elaine's at Feizor.

"This seems a good place to take your picture", he said, "so settle yourselves, while I line up the shot."

This done, we walked along High Street seen here below, with the Community Shop & Post Office to the left and the Methodist Church dating from 1871 on the right.

At the end the road turns sharp left, and Shaun called out, "we soon take the footpath off right."

Now whether it was that the signpost did not quite point in the right direction, or the fact that Dad decided to take his photograph reflected in a large mirror for cars pulling out of the houses here, we missed the proper path.

We were tempted to call him Narcissus, but refrained as we have no room to talk the number of times we appear!

We should have taken the narrow opening immediately right by the signpost, but instead we ended up the large garden of house to the left. The owner saw us, and explained where we should have gone, (actually saw this when we passed by on the way home later).

Dad said, "I'm sorry about trespassing"

"That's OK", the gentleman replied, then said, "if you recross the footbridge and then go right by the stream, you will come to a wooden gate, after which you will be back on track."

As we walked along, Shaun said, "I'm sorry Dad."

"It's not your fault lad", replied Dad reassuringly.

We took special care when repeating the walk with Uncle Eric, to ensure we took the correct route through the narrow opening the path descending to cross the stream by a small bridge and by the gate we had used out of the garden. It was here we had turned left to get back on track, but on this second time we just climbed on up to the stile into open pasture, and passing to the left of this substantial, but forlorn and ruined barn.

"How sad", remarked Little Eric.

The way was clearly on ahead over more fields and stiles.

"Wow that's impressive", called out Grizzly, as we approached one forming a bridge over a fenced hedge line. Once again the unmistakable shape of Ingleborough provides the backdrop and we enjoyed many views of it today at various parts of our walk.

Across the next field a further stile led on to Barnoldswick Lane. This runs from Burton in Lonsdale to Kepp House and other properties at the tiny hamlet of Barnoldswick.

"That's four stiles on this section so far", said Grizzly.

"Noted pal", replied Allen.

Shaun meanwhile was looking closely at the map. " We go right along the lane to the corner and then go left, probably over a stile, to follow the path keeping by the fence or hedge on the right."

Following his instructions the way led to the next stiles being a double over a yet another fenced hedge.

Crossing the field beyond we met a local lady walking her dog and Dad chatted for a few minutes. She spotted us, so Dad explained about our adventures and mentioned the website too.

The next stile led into a field with a small hill which Dad climbed over to the next stile. The it was on across more fields via another stile, and so to Lund Farm.

"That's six more", called out Grizzly.

"OK, noted", replied Allen.

Through the gate we entered the farmyard and walked ahead past the buildings and over a stile, to then continue by some outbuildings newly converted into houses. Then, it was through the gap stile in the wall on the right, to walk a narrow path high above the River Greta. This shortly dropped down crossing wet ground and coming to a stile into woodland, then following the narrow path to exit via a gate.

"We need to go over this field diagonally right to skirt that wall corner ahead", instructed Shaun.

After that the route was plain, being ahead through a gate to the next field and then over a stile to come by the river, with a wall on the left. About halfway along, the route was through the stile in the wall and then on ahead to another stile, and so get an impressive view of New Bridge that carries the A65 over the river. It was built in 1933, to replace a previous stone arch bridge.

A flight of substantial stone steps led up to a gap stile on the pavement beside the busy A65, on the outskirts of Ingleton.

"That"s seven more stiles", said Grizzly.

"Right", replied Allen. Then pausing a moment, he said, "it makes a total of 17 from Burton in Lonsdale to here, and 34 in all for the walk so far."

"Phew, no fun for your knees Dad", added Tetley.

"Well so far they're not suffering too much", was Dad's reply.

"We cross the bridge, then take the first road on the right", advised Shaun.

We walked past the terrace of houses. When walking this with Uncle Eric, he told us that in the 18th century there had been extensive cola mining in this ares and that the houses had been built as dwellings for the miners. On the left we passed Clarrick House Farm, and then on to a footpath sign pointing left, where Shaun said, "we take this path."

This led via a small wooden gate into a caravan site, where we followed its access track to a road, passing to the left another terrace of houses that had been originally built for the miners. Immediately the road before, our route was right at the footpath signed along a narrow lane that soon became a track leading to Warth House.

Just before we reached the track however Shaun said, "we go left through the gap stile and then walk on up the field to Foredales House."

As Dad strode up the field, Tetley called out, "the sun is catching the snow on Ingleborough. I think it is worth a picture Dad."

So, reaching the wall we climbed the stile and then two more in passing by Foredales House to our left (on the second occasion the stiles had gone and we used the gates to make progress). Then after the next stile the path climbed steadily with a tall hedge to our left, to another stile on the skyline, where just beyond was this pretty but rather overgrown pond.

The red bucket gives a splash of colour, but at the time we thought, and Dad agreed too, that it rather detracted from the shot. Being the good Dad he is, an attempt was made to remove it, however it lay where the ground was really part of the pool, and just slight pressure made it obvious Dad would have sunk up to his knees at least!

Walking on there were two more stiles for Dad to climb as we crossed more fields, one being quite huge!

Beyond a stile the path led to the footbridge over Aspland Beck, the picture below being taken after we had crossed over.

photo courtesy of Uncle Eric

Then the path wound its way up to a field. "The map shows two small ponds, which might be worth having a look at", said Grizzly. Here is the one closest to the footpath, with once again Ingleborough forming a distant backdrop.

Then heading on down it was only a short walk to the stile giving access to Dumb Tom's Lane. No prizes for guessing how it got its name!

"That's eight stiles, on this section so far", called out Grizzly. (It was seven, on the second time).

"Right pal, it's noted", replied Allen.

"We take the stile immediately opposite on to Bentham Golf Course", instructed Shaun.

"We will need to watch out for flying golf balls, as we do not want Dad to get hurt", said Little Eric, with concern.

"Right then", replied Tetley, "it is keep our eyes peeled time!"

Across the golf course the waymarks were frequent and clear, being about every 50-100 yards, so there was no doubting the route. This was first uphill then down and up again, crossing a number of fairways, including the 13th, this being the information board on the tee, of that hole.

Finally we left the golf course via a stile in a wall leading to a field and on to cross two more stiles (it was only one on the second time), and then a wide open gateway led to the road at High Bentham.

There was a stile by this and Grizzly said, "I know you do not need to, but please climb the stile to add to our total?"

"OK lad, just for you", replied Dad,

That done, Grizzly then said, "so, that is another five stiles from Dumb Tom's Lane."

"Getting his notebook out, Allen said, "that makes thirteen in all from Ingleton." (on the second time the number of stiles was actually eleven)

"So what is the total for the whole walk?", asked Little Eric.

"Forty seven!", replied Allen. The second time he said, "forty-five", adding "it just goes to show how things change in a relatively short time."

"Wow!", responded Tetley. "that must be the most we have ever encountered on a walk. How are your knees Dad?"

"OK, but I will be glad of a sit down once we get to the car park," Dad replied.

We went ahead along the road, then took the first left that led down to it.

"Thanks for a nice walk and that is another area of countryside we had never been to before, explored", called out Allen, on behalf of us all

"Refreshment time now?", said Tetley.

"Sure is, and of course where else am I going but Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor," responded Dad.

"Great", exclaimed Allen, "that means we will get to go in with you."

When we got there it was very busy with a large party in the top room and the other was full as well, but there was a table free by the kitchen, and we settled on a chair sitting quietly.

They were surprised to see Dad and he got the greeting, "what are you doing here."

Dad replied, "I have been walking from Bentham, but I could not come anywhere else but here, and yes I do have Brian's permission."

Elaine then said, "you would have been in trouble if you had gone anywhere else."

Dad had the lovely individual cottage pie with chips and cabbage, this then being followed by apple pie and custard, washed down with a pot of tea. What better way is there to end a walk.

A couple, who Dad and Uncle Brian know, were sitting at the next table having a meal part way round their walk, and so Dad was able to have a good chat with them. They commented on us, so Dad explained and mentioned the website too.

Eventually we were the only customers and Dad had another chat with Elaine and staff, before we set off home arriving about 16.30, after a very enjoyable day out.

Addendum from 11th September 2014

We should add that we thoroughly enjoyed repeating this walk, and it was great having Uncle Eric for company and thank him for informing us about the mining that long ago took place near Ingleton. He too enjoyed it, commenting a number of times how peaceful the countryside was. It was our first walk for over a month, due to Dad suffering trouble with his neck and shoulder again. He is having treatment and it will, we hope, not be too long before we are back on the fells again. This will be especially pleasing to Little Eric who wants to progress his Wainwrights and Birketts.

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