CASTERTON FELL & BROWNTHWAITE PIKE from BARBON

 


Summary

Date - 5th May 2016 Distance - 7.5 miles
Ascent -
1340ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Junction of Barbondale & Casterton road (SD 6374 8248)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Casterton Fell 1436 438 SD 6500 8089
Brownthwaite Pike 1381 421 SD 6477 8055

 

Preface

Southey was looking longingly out of the window. "It is almost two weeks since our walk up Ingleborough with Uncle Eric. I am itching to get out again."

"I know how you feel pal", replied Tetley, "but Dad has had a busy time so it has not been possible."

Allen meanwhile had put the book he was reading down, and had picked up the iPad. "This Thursday seems to be free, but it will be up to Dad in the end." He then navigated to the Met Office page. "The weather is OK, so it will be a case of keeping our paws crossed."

"We need to come up with a plan first", responded Southey.

Any thoughts on this were however put on hold as Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back, and Grizzly arrived with the flasks and cake tin.

"Ooh great", cheered Allen, "tea!"

"And cakes too ", added Southey, going off to get the mugs and plates.

He and Allen then assisted Shaun in pouring the tea and passing the steaming mugs round. "Thanks pals", said Shaun.

Grizzly announced, "there is flapjack that Little Eric has made while from me chocolate caramel shortbread."

We all tucked in, Shaun saying "I love the flapjack."

"The caramel shortbread is absolutely scrumptious", added Southey. "Thank you pals as always."

Tetley then outlined the prior discussions, and immediately Little Eric suggested, "how about doing another of the walks from the Limestone book, to advance your challenge, Southey."

"That would be great", he replied, "providing you don't mind, pals."

"Of course not", replied Allen. "So which one to do?"

Looking at the list, Grizzly said, "we can get two out of the way, by doing Casterton Fell and walking the short distance across to Brownthwaite Pike."

"Great", agreed Southey, "so which route?"

"Not Wainwright's route in the book, as this starts from Casterton, but there is no where to park", commented Shaun.

"I'll get the map", volunteered Tetley.

This spread out we poured over it. "The last time we started from just above Barbon at the junction of the Barbondale and Casterton roads", said Tetley.

"OK", replied Allen. "So we could walk along the Barbondale road, then take the bridleway over to Bull Pot Farm."

"Then along the road from there to the path up the fell", said Grizzly.

"Across to Brownthwaite Pike then rejoin the track down to the road again", went on Tetley, "to Fell Foot Lane, to its end at the Casterton road and so back to the start."

"Fine", agreed Southey, "what would I do without you. I do not feel I am experienced enough to sort routes out.

"It will come with time, I assure you", replied Allen, as draining his mug and picking up the map, he went off to see what Dad thought.

"Better fill his mug", said Tetley to Shaun.

"Aye, he is a real tea belly", was Shaun's reply.

It was not many minutes before Allen returned. "It's on", he said a broad grin on his face.

"Yippee!, cheered Little Eric. "Here's to a lovely time", raising his mug.

 

The Walk

It was to be a lovely day. Spring had finally arrived, Dad being able to walk in shorts. An ever so familiar drive up the Lune Valley to turn off though the village of Barbon, Grizzly calling out, "there's Mr Williamson's where you get your marmalade and chutney."

"Yes lad. I am not out, but intend to stock up later."

Immediately after the cattle grid, is the verge parking. Dad was soon ready, so we got settled in his rucksack, This then shouldered he strode off.

Along the road, it was initially lined by tall trees to the left, being the boundary of the Barbon Manor Estate. Then it was open to both sides.

"What is that beautifully constructed structure", called out Southey.

"It is one of the Andy Goldsworthy Sheepfolds", replied Tetley. "Over a period of time he created a large number of these in the north of England and Scotland. This one is called Jack's Fold."

"We will see more of these along Fellfoot Lane, towards the end of the walk", went on Allen. "One time Dad took a picture of each one, so we could incorporate it in the story."

Strolling on, Shaun pointed ahead, calling out, "that is the bridleway we take to Bull Pot Farm."

Arriving there, it was clearly signed and we could see the path climbing towards the skyline and the electricity pole.

"We will climb up to the electricity poles, and then walk on beside them for a while", went on Shaun.

Striding off, Dad climbed steadily the rough stony path, coming close to a beck that at one point dropped in this pretty waterfall.

Looking back, Allen said, "those are the steep slopes of Middleton Fell that dominate the Barbondale Road.

The track led to a gate in the wall, and then on to Bull Pot Farm that is the hub of the Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club.

The road that ends here, was our ongoing route. "We strike right off this for the ascent of Casterton Fell", said Shaun.

Presently we arrived at the signed gate, to follow the clear path. "The plan is to leave the path at the first bend and head to the the ridge."

Coming to a fence we walked left keeping close by, eventually reaching a gate hard against a cross wall.

Dad had taken some sheep pictures already today, and he snapped off another of a ewe and lamb.

Despite Allen's protests, Tetley said, "that is one for the story."

"We are close to the summit", said Tetley, and hardly were the words out of his mouth than we crested a rise and there is was ahead.

"It may be too breezy to sit on top of the trig point, lads", said Dad.

"Please can we try", implored Southey.

"One down", cheered Southey. And pointing, "is that Brownthwaite Pike with the large cairn."

"Yes pal, not far", replied Grizzly.

A clear path left the summit, going half right to a gate near the wall corner. Beyond a path led slightly left to make the short climb to the ridge. Little Eric was peering closely at the map, saying, "the large cairn is not the highest point. The spot height is just a little way before."

The area of the summit is clear, but no cairn marks it so we just settled close to the path for our picture, Dad getting the flag out for us too.

There was a fine prospect too, across to Casterton Fell.

It was only a short distance to the large cairn, so we scampered off, Shaun giving Little Eric a ride on his back. Sure-footed he scrambled up with the rest of us following, to find a nice spot to sit and have lunch.

Phew I was ready for lunch", said Allen tucking into the sandwiches and cake.

"You're always hungry", laughed Tetley, taking a piece of cake himself.

Dad was finished before us and said, "I am going to ring Uncle Brian to see how his trip on this mobility scooter to Asda went."

We are pleased to report it went well.

"Are you finished Lads?"

"Yes", replied Grizzly. "We will get ourselves settled ready for the off."

So making a straight descent of the end of the fell we joined the track, coming to a gate on the left where it continued to Fell Road.

While had been lunching, our pal Little Eric had been looking at the map. Now as we strolled the track, he said, "the map shows an ancient stone circle down to the right."

So we peered over the wall, Tetley calling out, "there, close to the wall at the bottom of the field."

"Will you take a picture Dad?", asked Allen.

"Sure, but if we walk on a bit further it will show up better."

Looking on the Internet, we gleaned the following information. Known as the Casterton Stone Circle, it has a diameter of 60ft and stands on a flattened mound or platform. There are 20 uprights, none more than 2ft high.

At the road it was right downhill. "Look more sheep and lambs", whispered Southey.

"Oh no!", cried Allen, seeing Dad haul the camera out of the bag.

"The next cross path is Fellfoot Lane, where we go right", instructed Shaun.

Here in the trees we could see and hear great tits and other birds singing. "How lovely", said Southey.

Very shortly as we strolled along, Tetley called out, "Southey, here is the first of the Andy Goldsworthy sheepfolds."

Dad climbed the stile so Southey could get a good view.

"Fascinating", said Southey. "Are the all similar?"

"Yes pal", replied Allen, "each one encloses a large boulder."

Eventually the lane swung left and ran within Tuplot Wood to join the Casterton Road. "It's right", advised Shaun.

This was pleasantly wooded to either side and unfrequented with traffic...

...passing on the left this impressive neo-Jacobethan mansion of Whelprigg. It was built in 1834 with various additions being made in the 20th century.

After the cattle grid the road was unfenced and we continued on to reach the car. Ahead on the hillside and surrounded by trees was Barbon Manor. Designed in the French Renaissance style by E.M. Barry (architect of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London) and built 1862-3 as a shooting lodge for Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth Bart.

"That was a lovely day. Thank you Dad for repeating those hills just for me", said Southey.

"I guess it's time for refreshments, Dad", called out Tetley.

"Sure thing lad", replied Dad.

"So it will be Elaine's", he went on.

"Yes."

In Barbon, Dad stopped at Mr Williamson's to for preserves, but there was no one in. "Never mind, I still have a good supply at home."

At Elaine's. Dad had tea, scone with butter and jam & caramel shortbread. Elaine was sitting in the upper room, when we arrived, so Dad was able to sit and have a good chat with her.

As we drove home, Tetley said, "that was a grand day out."

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