Date - 2nd September 2020 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL19
Start point - Crosby Ravensworth (NY 6204 1472)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was Tuesday and Dad was at Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor. A day later than normal due to yesterday being bank holiday.

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

"The Chorley cakes are scrumptious", said Allen, taking another.

"Hmm", said Grizzly. "I can see, that's your third."

Southey laughed at this, but got scolded by Little Eric, "you are on your third piece too."

"I know, but I have admitted that like Allen, I take after Dad, and am a cake stuffer. The chocolate caramel shortbread you have made Little Eric is delicious and totally irresistible."

Turning our thoughts to walks, Shaun said, "I feel a bit guilty about the walk we did on Saturday from Orton. It was nearly 11 miles, and longer than we have done for a while. Dad was very tired the next day. Maybe we pushed too hard for him to do it."

"I know what you mean", replied Tetley. "Dad thought nothing of the walks when we were doing the fells and mountains, and some were very long ones too. But we have to remember that he was much younger then."

"Perhaps we need to think more carefully about our suggestions in the future", said Grizzly.

Unbeknown to us Dad had arrived home and heard our conversation. "thank you for thinking about me, lads. It is really a combination of things, as I have been going out a lot for lunches and visiting too. I need to try to take a few more rest days. However on that note, I have decided we are to walk tomorrow. Uncle Leo has given me a back copy of Cumbria magazine, in which there is a walk from Crosby Ravensworth."

"We have walked from there a few times", interjected Allen.

"That's right lad, but this walk will take us on mostly new paths to Maulds Meaburn. After that we have indeed done the section back to the start."

Southey had the iPad in paw. "the weather forecast is not very good for the afternoon."

"That is why we will be leaving home about 07:30 so that we can start to walk by 08:30."

"Oh Dad, you are so so good to us", cheered Little Eric. "Here's to tomorrow."


The Walk

We got up very early, Tetley remarking, "this reminds me of the times we used to meet Uncle Bob for walks in the Yorkshire Dales."

We all helped to get the picnic ready and safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

Then true to his word we were pulling out of the drive just after 07:30. The route was the same we had taken on Saturday, but on reaching Orton, we continued on towards Appleby, to after a couple of miles branch off left and follow the narrow road for 3 miles to Crosby Ravensworth, Dad parking as usual opposite the village hall.

While we waited for Dad to get his boots on, we looked about. "Aww", called out Allen, "look at those two horses grooming each other."

He was soon ready and Southey issued the instructions. "We cross the bridge over Dalebanks Beck and turn left on the narrow road out of the village." He was again helping Shaun with the directions today.

We strolled on past the houses and this pretty little bridge over the beck that gives access to a field.

After crossing the cattle grid, Southey called out, "we take that signed path rising half right."

It led past this very ruined building, where Little Eric commented, "I wonder what the circular chimney like structure with the stone on top is for?"

His answer from us all and voiced by Grizzly was, "I have no idea."

The path dropped to cross Blind Beck and continued to a stile and then straight across the next field to gate on to the access to Haber Farm.

"Turn right", advised Shaun. Then very shortly he called out, "it's left off the track here and down to the gap stile, to beyond drift right and rejoin the access. I know it is simpler to just follow the access but this is the right of way."

At the entrance to the farmyard we were greeted by this sheep dog.

"Our route is over the stile on the right", advised Southey.

Beyond Dad headed up the field to soon join a surfaced track. This led through gates, and past High Haber on a walled track that exited to access land.

Southey was scratching his head. "The instructions do not seem to tie up with where we have walked."

Shaun pointed to the map. "Look pal, there are two paths from the stile. We have mistakenly taken the left one." Then pointing on the map said, "we are now here."

"Oh yes, pal, I see", replied Southey. "All we need to do is keep on ahead to the gate on Harberwain Lane."

There Southey said, "now go right and soon we will pass High Harberwain where we should have come out."

As we passed, Tetley said, "I like the sign."

"Keep on along the lane, then take the second of two paths, signed Wickerslack," advised Southey.

The path led to a gate and on by the wall on the left past some inquisitive cattle.

Now faced by two gates, Shaun instructed, "it's the left one."

Onwards, passing more cattle where Dad stopped to snap this youngster, the clear path the led down towards Wickerslack Farm and a gate on to the access road.

"Turn left to the minor road, and there go right", instructed Southey.

By the road, a sign reading Jackson, pointed down the road that ended at a impressive complex of buildings and residential property. "I presume Jackson is the name of the owners", suggested Grizzly.

That courtyard with the clock is worth a picture", said Tetley. "The clock works too, as it is showing the correct time."

"The instructions say to go through the double red gates", read out Southey.

"No doubt about the route then", laughed Little Eric, pointing to them.

Dad strode the track, and then through two gates in quick succession, to pause and snap these trees. "They are some age", commented Allen.

The way was now left on a walled track, Southey saying, "where this swings left we climb the step stile to keep on ahead, by the wall on left."

At an angle of the wall was another step stile. Shaun called out, "we climb over to keep in the same direction the wall now on the right."

Then beyond a gate the ground dropped to the fence corner. "It's right here through the plantation", said Southey.

Coming near to the far end, Southey instructed, "the path goes right for a short way and then left to gate out into a field."

To the left stand two large barns. "Keep ahead and join the surfaced track from them", called out Shaun.

This led pretty straight, descending to pass the line of very tall trees. Grizzly said, "the author suggests these were probably a shelter belt."

As we passed Allen craning his neck said, "they really are very tall indeed. At least 60 foot."

The track led into Mains Wood and soon bent left. Southey said, "we need to look for the waymarked narrow path going right."

It was hard to spot with the undergrowth at its height, so the waymark was welcome.

At the end Dad climbed the stile into the field beyond and continued on the obvious way to the bridge over Howe Beck.

There was no clear path beyond, and a rise in the ground obscured the view ahead. "The instructions say to go half right, but the map show the path is basically straight ahead", advised Southey.

His correct guidance brought us to a gate into a field where some of our lovely Herdwicks were grazing. Allen, who normally moans about sheep pictures, called out, "I don't mind Herdwicks."

A stile in the wall behind the sheep took us to the road, where turning left we entered the village of...

As we strolled towards the green, Little Eric called out, "there's the postbox. You know I like us to include them in the story."

Under a large tree is a seat. "Good place to take our picture", called out Tetley.

There was an information board and Grizzly told us, "Meaburn is derived from the Anglo-Saxon meaning 'meadow stream'. The 'Maulds' refers to a story of murder and treachery. Lord of the Manor, Hugh de Morville was one of the knights who murdered Thomas a Becket in Canterbury in 1170. As punishment part of the manor was confiscated by the Crown, Kings Meaburn, and the rest was granted to Hugh's sister Maud - Maulds Meaburn."

Next Grizzly told us, "the village green is one of only three in England still grazed by sheep."

"I can see some over there" said Little Eric.

Then Grizzly told us, "the Lyvennet Beck has this weir, salmon ladder, footbridges and stepping stones linking the riverside paths. The beck contains a healthy population of white clawed crayfish."

Houses are strung out and set back either side of the beck and green. This one was once a former Methodist chapel built in 1878, now a private house.

So our exploration over, Shaun said, "we cross that fine bridge."

Grizzly commented, "this is called upper bridge and was built in the 1860s."

Beyond Southey said, "follow the road as it bends right then take the narrow road off to the right that is signed Crosby Ravensworth."

"We are now on ground we have walked before", said Tetley. "This road will take us past the Italianate Flass House."

Grizzly told us, "this mansion in the Palladian style was built in the 19th century by tea and opium traders Lancelot and Wilkinson Dent of Dent and Co, remaining in the family until 1972, when it was sold to the historian Frank Welsh. It was sold again in 1982 to the solicitor Malcolm Whiteside, who temporarily ran the property as a care home. In 2000, the musician Christine Holmes and her husband Paul Davies bought the property. The pair divorced, and, in 2012, it was discovered that the property had been used by a criminal gang for the cultivation of cannabis. Six men, including Davies, were jailed in 2015 for a total of nearly 40 years. Holmes took control of the property, which was sold at auction in 2019, and renovations are ongoing."

"Quite a chequered history", responded Allen.

The route was the path to the left of the gate by the boundary wall. It runs through a short tunnel and out into fields.

There was now no doubt as to the route that took us via gap stiles mostly by the Lyvennet Beck

Allen pointed, "that tree is just beginning to show hints of autumn colours, in this strangest of years."

Finally the path led through two gates in front of Low Row...

...and over Monks Bridge into Crosby Ravensworth. Grizzly said, "this is first mentioned in 1702 but is probably C17. It is reputed locally to be connected with a nearby grange of Whitby Abbey. It is a Grade II listed structure."

Along the road then the narrow path by the boundary of St. Lawrence's church. "What can you tell us pal?", asked Little Eric.

Grizzly replied. "This is the hugely impressive St. Lawrence's church that is often described as a miniature cathedral, and as such carries Grade I listed status. The oldest part of the church is to be found at the crossing dating from about 1190–1200. It is thought that there was originally a tower at the crossing, but this was dismantled towards the end of the 15th century, and replaced by the west tower. The northeast chapel (the Threlkeld Chapel) does date from this time. Since then the church has been remodelled twice during the 19th century."

Pausing for breath, he then went on. "The first took place in 1811–12." Pointing he then said, "what remains from this are the south porch and the south doorway of the chancel."

"The second remodelling took place over a period extending from 1848 to 1887. It was commissioned by the incumbent Revd George F. Weston. New furnishings were introduced in 1850, and the whitewash was removed. In 1854 the chancel arch was installed, and a vestry was added. An additional stage was added to the tower in 1866–68, and in 1868 the clerestory was built. The former south transept was rebuilt in 1870–71, followed by the north transept in 1872–73. Finally the chancel was rebuilt, this being completed in 1886.

"Thank you pal, you have truly educated us about the church", said Southey.

We continued along the narrow path, then Dad skipped across the stepping stones to walk the few yards to the car.

"What a lovely and interesting walk", said Tetley. "Thank you Dad as always."

As he was getting his boots off, Little Eric trotted round the corner and called out, "here's the village postbox. Will you take a picture please, Dad?" The odd shape is because we did not want the large builders materials bag to be in the picture.

"So I guess it is refreshment time", said Allen.

"Yes lad, I'm going to Orton Scar Cafe where I went on Saturday."

Here he had butternut squash soup with a cheese and pickle sandwich and of course a pot of tea. Meanwhile we were comfortable in the car having our own picnic with plenty of tea too.

Shaun said to Southey, "you did really well pal giving the directions. We can really share this task on future walks."

"Thanks pal, that means a lot", replied Southey. "We did take the wrong path from Haber though."

"That was Dad's fault really. Anyway it did not take us far out of our way."

So just the matter of driving home. Just south of Tebay we ran into rain, so once again Dad had pretty much timed the walk to perfection. It came on heavily soon after we got home and rained, as forecast, for the rest of the day.


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