THE YEALANDS from TEWITFIELD

 


Summary

Date - 19th August 2020, 13th September 2020, 24th March 2021 & 5th May 2022
Distance - 5.25 miles (5.75 miles - Sept.). (6 miles - March 2021). (5.5 miles - May 2022)
Ascent - 700ft
Map - OL7 Start point - Longlands Hotel (SD 519 736)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Summerhouse Hill 413 126 SD 5010 7439

 

Preface

All was well as we had steaming mugs in paw and cakes on our plate.

"The Chorley cakes are scrumptious", said Allen. "You are really ace at making them, Grizzly."

"So I can see", he laughed, "that's your third."

"Just living up to my cake stuffer reputation", chortled Allen in reply.

"You aren't doing so bad either, Southey", commented Tetley.

"Just keeping up with Allen. The chocolate caramel shortbread is to die for, Little Eric."

"Thanks pal."

Shaun had the iPad in paw, "There is a walk pencilled in with Uncle Eric tomorrow. The weather looks to be OK too."

"Do we have to come up with a suggestion?", said Grizzly.

"No pal, Uncle Eric said he would have some suggestions. We will know more once Dad has spoken to him tonight."

Later in the evening Dad came to tell us. "We are to do a walk that takes in the Yealands starting from Longlands Hotel. The walk was originally published in the Westmorland Gazette in May 2018. Although we have walked extensively in that area, there will be quite a few new paths."

"Great", cheered Little Eric. "Here's to tomorrow."


It should be noted that the majority of the narrative and most of the pictures relate to the day we walked with Uncle Eric. The exception is the summiting of Summerhouse Hill and subsequent exploration relating to the ancient stone circle.

24th March 2021
We decided to repeat this walk, on a sunny spring day but with a cold wind in exposed places. Taking the camera Dad took a few pictures, and we gathered additional information as a result of conversations with people we met. This is included in our enhanced narrative.

5th May 2022
Continuing with Dad's recovery after Covid, we decided to repeat this walk. The day was mild if cloudy but hardly any wind. Dad took the camera hoping that we might see swathes of bluebells but sadly not the case. However there were other photo opportunities, including sheep with lambs that obliged by posing.

"Huh", grunted Allen. "I suppose we will have to include some in the story.

"Oh yes", replied Dad.

 

The Walk

We awoke to a sunny morning. The day was dry throughout, clouding over later.

Dad's gear loaded we dashed out and settled in the car. As Dad set off Southey asked, "how do we get to the start."

Shaun replied, "Along the Bay Gateway, then north on the M6 to junction 35 and down to the A6. Right there to the first roundabout and take the road to Burton in Kendal. As we cross the M6, Longlands Hotel is immediately on the right."

There used to be a car park towards the canal but that has disappeared. Dad asked a lady who was weeding the flower beds, who said, "it's OK to use the hotel car park."

Uncle Eric soon arrived and Allen called out, "hi Uncle Eric, good to see you. We are looking forward to the walk."

"Nice to see you too lads."

So from the Longlands Hotel...

...we crossed the bridge over the M6.

Immediately Shaun called out, "it's right on the access road to Tewitfield Farm."

A few yards on by some houses, this lilac tree was in blossom with the bluebells round the base. This was in May 2022, and Little Eric called out, "take a picture Dad, to add to our narrative."

The route meandered and led to a gate just before the farm.

Through this, Shaun then pointed, "now through that gate on the left onto the hedged track."

As we approached Uncle Eric asked, "what does the notice read?"

It was not very clear so Tetley peered closely and replied, "footpath."

"So we are definitely on the right path", laughed Allen.

The track led out into a field. "We cross this diagonally", advised Shaun.

Here in May 2022, the field was full of ewes with their lambs and quick as a flash Dad had the camera out.

"Oh dear" sighed Allen. "Not more sheep pictures in this story."

"Unfortunately for you, yes pal", laughed Tetley.

This brought us to a stile and then left under the railway...

...and to a rather overgrown stile onto the A6. Here Uncle Eric forces his way through.

"So which way now?", asked Little Eric.

Southey was giving Shaun a paw today with the guidance, so said, "walk the verge left until we get to the start of the dual carriageway. Then carefully cross the A6 and walk uphill on Snape Lane."

Passing the fields in 2021, Southey suddenly called out, "aww, look at that lamb with its mother. So cute."

Snape Lane ends in the pretty village of Yealand Conyers by St Mary's Catholic Church.

Grizzly said, "the current church was built for Richard Gillow of Leighton Hall, and consecrated in 1852, after the previous mission Church established in 1782 became too small and was re-used as the parish hall.  Within the Parish is Leighton Hall with its origins dating back to 1246. The Hall has been a Catholic stronghold during times of persecution and has its own Chapel.  The churchyard contains the family tomb of the Gillows family within a metal fenced enclosure by the east end of the church. The building is constructed of limestone and has a steep slate-covered roof. Its plan consists of a five-bay nave, a chancel at a lower level, and a north porch. At the west end is a projecting bay surmounted by a double gabled bellcote."

"Thank you pal, as always for the history lesson", said Tetley.

A range of buildings are attached to the church. That part at the left end with the cross on the roof is the old mission church, now the parish hall.

Allen commented, "there looks to have been a large window at one time."

This was in 2021, and due to Dad visiting the Gillow graves again, the dog at the house set off barking, causing the owner to come out. Dad got into conversation. He asked about the apparent window.

The lady replied, "we thought the same when we came to live here, but the priest told us, whilst it was obviously planned, there never was an actual window. Maybe it was thought it would be too showy."

"Or too expensive", mused Dad.

Her dog was very friendly and jumped up by wall to be fussed.

Back to the original day with Uncle Eric, a lady walking past spotted us, saying, "I like the teddies. I am a collector too."

On Dad saying over 500 live at our house, she expressed surprise saying, "I don't have as many as that."

Southey now said, "we go past the church and left round the bend and then right over a stile."

There, we followed the grassy path by the tall stone wall and round left to a junction of paths.

"We've been here before a few times", commented Tetley. "There on the left is the entrance to Hyning Scout Wood that we walked through on the day we summited Warton Crag. Then that path ahead leads past the limekiln and to Peter Lane. We have also walked the path right, on by the wall, which comes out onto the back road from Warton to Yealand Conyers."

"That's our route today", said Southey.

At the road, Shaun instructed, "turn right, to the corner, then go left through the gap stile, and keep head uphill on the rough path."

At the top we were at Summerhouse Hill with this large round cairn. Or so we thought until Grizzly said, "it is actually the base of a modern summerhouse."

"Hence the hill name, then", replied Allen.

What we did not realise is that the hill is included under the Hill Bagging website list, and is a therefore a recognised summit. However we cannot claim to have climbed it as we did not go to the top of the mound. "We will have to come back here again then", said Little Eric, later.

This was one reason why we suggested to Dad to repeat the walk on the Sunday in September. Reaching the top of the hill, Allen called out, "come on pals, lets scramble onto the mound for our picture."

"Yippee", cheered Little Eric, "today we can finally say this summit has been bagged."

In 2021, we sat again for our summit picture. The main reason for including it is with regard to Tetley. He is very proud of his Yorkshire heritage that is displayed on his t-shirt. However the nearly 900 walks over the years have taken its toll with it literally falling to bits. So Dad arranged to get his a new one that was delivered just yesterday. He still wears his original underneath. "You look a really bobby dazzler, pal", said Little Eric.

On the September day, Grizzly said, "I have been doing some research about Summerhouse Hill. It is the alleged site of Lancashire's largest stone circle, with and irregular diameter of 140m (460ft). "

Looking about and scratching his head, Tetley said, "I just don't see anything like that."

The rest of us had to agree too, so Grizzly went on to explain. "Only four stones actually remain, although there are apparently numerous socket holes that once housed further stones. I realise that none of us are really expert enough to see those, but we can see the remaining stones. One is that large split stone just the other side of the path in line with the mound."

"Now, we have to walk across to the far side by the trees to see the other three." There he instructed, "stand looking back to the summerhouse mound." He then pointed right. "These are the next two stones, and then looking between these and the mound is the third."

"Oh I see, and following left past the mound the circle continues with the split stone", said Tetley.

"Wow", breathed Southey. "The stones are huge as I presume were the missing ones. What an impressive sight it must have been."

In 2021 we attempted to look for socket holes of missing stones. Not very successfully we might add, but this shallow depression is maybe where a stone once lay.

"Not everyone is convinced about the site, and it has been dismissed by other sources as debris from a collapsed tor that gives the appearance of a toppled circle", said Grizzly.

On each day we then passed through the kissing gate, where we had this superb view of Leighton Hall, the family home of the Gillow dynasty of famous furniture makers, and the park land surrounding it.

Pointing across Morecambe Bay, Allen called out, "the sun is shining on Grange over Sands."

Seeing the number of memorial seats, Little Eric said, "will you take our picture please, Dad."

A path descends towards the Hall, Allen saying, "that's our route, I suppose?"

"Actually no", replied Southey. "Coming here was just a spur to see the view. We have to retrace our steps to the stile from the road at Yealand Conyers."

As we did this in May 2022, Dad could not resist snapping this shot of a ewe with her lambs.

"Oh heck, not more", cried Allen.

"Yes, but you have got to admit they are cute", replied Shaun.

Arriving at the stile, Southey pointed, "we take that path signed Deepdale."

This large house was just below us.

Dad said, "that is in the grounds of Yealand Manor, that was once the training college of the company Provincial Insurance that Uncle Eric and I worked for. The house was built by the company for the Bursar, Tony Clarke and family. His son Tim grew up there, and I worked with him at Kendal for a few years."

The path skirted the grounds and shortly the manor came into view. Dad said, "it is privately owned now. The company eventually sold it, then bought what is now the Riverside Hotel, as the training centre, just across from the offices in Kendal."

Uncle Eric said, "I recall lecturing on a number of courses at the manor."

Dad went on, "I attended a number of courses and conferences. I remember the first, the induction course for two weeks in January 1970. There were so many people on the course that I and a couple of other attendees had to lodge at the shop in the village and walk up each morning for lectures."

By where Dad had stopped to take the above picture, lay this boulder. "That's a Shap erratic brought down in the last ice age", said Tetley. "I can tell from the slight pinkish tinge of the granite."

The path led to a gate. "The position of the fastening is more suited to bears than humans", commented Tetley.

This led into woods, then out to a huge pasture, where by a gate right was an enclosure for two pigs. On the September day one ambled over.

At the far side of the pasture and beyond a gate the path swung right.

Shaun called out, "we ignore the sign pointing left to Deepdale, and go ahead through the gap stile."

The delightful waymarked path led us on and on through woods, and open ground.

Little Eric stopped our progress by pointing, "look at that large walled garden area. I wonder what is it associated with?"

Peering closely at the map, Shaun said, "I think it must be part of Yealand Manor estate."

This was confirmed in 2021. A lady and gentleman were sitting nearby having lunch. The lady had been repairing the walls, the gentleman being employed on the estate. He was interested when Dad told him he had worked for Provincial and attended courses at the manor.

"The house is little changed" he said. "The building that was the computer centre was demolished a few years ago."

"I thought so", replied Dad. Then he asked, "what is the walled structure?"

"A walled garden", he replied. "Mostly planted with vegetables. If you are passing here again and see me about, I would be glad to show you."

"Thank you."

So onwards through more woodland, soon going left as indicated by the waymark...

...to a stile, across the field and down to the road at Yealand Redmayne by Storrs Farmhouse dated 1666. "What a lovely old building", commented Allen. "So typical too being painted white."

"Turn right", called out Southey. "Then at the bend keep ahead along the cul-de-sac Well Lane, to its end."

"We should look out for the old pump", said Shaun. "I assume that is why the lane is so named."

Reaching the end of the lane, Tetley called out, "there it is. I guess that before there was mains water supply, this was where the villagers came to get there water."

"Our route is over that stile right", said Southey.

Dad took this after we had crossed.

Grizzly laughed, "just look at all the waymarks. Certainly making sure where the paths are!"

"Must have had a job lot", said Allen, with a laugh too.

After crossing two fields, the path ran by the hedge on right, to a gate. "Now we take that stile immediately left", pointed Shaun.

The grassy hedged track that was lined with bluebells, on the day in May 2022...

...took us out to Rose Acre Lane. "Cross the road and then down Church Lane", called out Southey.

This took us past St John the Evangelist's Church in the Yealands.

"Anything to tell us, Grizzly?", asked Little Eric.

"Of course pal. The church was built in 1838, and its design has been attributed to George Webster. The north aisle was added in 1861, and the chancel in 1882. It was originally a chapel of ease in the parish of St Oswald, Warton, and became a parish in its own right on 25 September 1870. It is constructed in limestone with limestone dressings in the main part of the church, and sandstone dressings in the chancel. The tower is pebbledashed and the roof slated. The plan consists of a five-bay nave, a north aisle, a chancel, and a west tower at the top of which, is a projecting battlemented parapet."

"Thank you", said Tetley. "You always add interest to our adventures."

In 2021, despite the lockdown, we were surprised to find he church was open. "Can we have a look inside?", asked Grizzly. "You know I like to look round churches."

"Sure lad, and I can take an internal shot for the story.

We visited again in 2022, Dad taking a picture of the organ, that Grizzly told us, "it was made by the Jardine Organ Company."

"What is that in front of the altar table in the chancel?", pointed Little Eric.

After a minute Tetley said, "I think I have worked it out. It is a telling of the Easter story. The three crosses represent the crucifixion. The stone structure represents the cave in which Jesus was buried. The round stone is rolled aside indicating the resurrection, and the folded cloth represents the shroud Jesus's body was wrapped in."

"Yes Tetley, you are right. How clever of you", replied Grizzly.

As we wandered round, Southey said, "I like the kneelers. They are very colourful.

"Hassocks", said Tetley.

"What?", replied Southey.

"The proper name for the kneelers."

"Well, I've learnt something today. Please will you take a few pictures as they will make a colourful addition to our narrative.

At the lane's junction with Dykes Lane, Southey said, "we go left down to the A6."

Here the daffodils provide colour in spring.

At the main road, Southey pointed, "cross carefully and take the track opposite past the bungalow."

There Tetley said, "this section we have walked before. It will lead us to the canal towpath."

Southey said, "if we look in the garden of the bungalow we will see a model of Bridge House at Ambleside."

"Wow", cried Allen. "That's brilliant."

Away to the right is Holmere Tarn.

"Crikey", exclaimed Tetley. "Usually in the summer it drains away to nothing. This level is what one would expect in winter. Just shows how much rain we have had over summer."

"Aye", agreed Grizzly. "We had summer in spring with the weeks of sunny weather during lockdown."

So, passing through metal palisade gates the track led down into a field by M6. Then continued right to pass under the motorway and follow left to climb, as Tetley had said, onto the canal towpath.

"We go right", instructed Shaun.

This took us past the long disused locks on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal.

Grizzly told us, "the locks here have been unused for around 70 years, and then when the M6 was built in 1968 rather than build bridges the canal was culverted in three places, so further cutting off the Northern Reaches. Of the 14 miles, 9 miles are still in water fed from Killington reservoir."

"We have walked by some of the drained sections either side of Sedgwick", commented Tetley. "Those bridges marooned in the middle of fields, look so strange."

Grizzly replied, "yes pal strange indeed. There are desires to reopen the Northern Reaches all the way to Kendal but it will be huge cost and I found an estimate of £60m quoted in 2002. Lord only knows what that would be now. One of the major issues is how it would be got across the A590 link road from the M6."

"Realistically at the present time there is little if any prospect of the money being made available", said Little Eric.

In 2022, by one of the defunct locks were these pretty flowers.

"I guess we will have to ask our hug pals Bracken and Moss to identify them for us" mused Southey.

"No pal" replied Allen. "I know what they are. Cowslips."

So we walked on down to the bridge carrying the road over the motorway. Here the embankment blocks the canal and walking round we came to the current end at Tewitfield and our start point.

"That was a lovely walk and lots of interest too", said Shaun. "Thank you Uncle Eric for suggesting it."

"You are welcome lads. I have enjoyed it too and it has been good to have your company, and your Dad's too."

So goodbyes were said and just in time too as the rain started to come on.

"Time for lunch, Dad?", said Tetley.

"Yes pal, I think I will go to Brief Encounter at Carnforth station."

However it was closed, so, while we had our picnic in the car, Dad went to the Station Hotel. He had a pint of Swan Blonde and lasagne. The food was half price under the Government Eat Out to Help Out scheme operating during August.

As we drove home he told us, "when I first came to live here in the 1980s, I used to go to the Station Hotel on a Sunday for lunch. It has has changed a bit since then."


For a change in 2021, Shaun suggested, "we can cross the canal, and then follow the path and bridleway to the road by the hotel. This will take us through Greenlands Farm."

"Ok", agreed Dad.

They have lots of different animals. "That's an emu if I am not mistaken", called out Little Eric.

"Aww and look at those baby goats", cried Allen. "So cute."

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