MELLING, LODGE FARM & PARK HOUSE from LOYN BRIDGE

 


Summary

Date -6th June 2022 Distance - 6 miles
Ascent -
630 ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Loyn Bridge (SD 5808 6975)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

It was Saturday, and all was well, with steaming mugs of our favourite Ramblears tea in paw.

"The chocolate coconut and cherry slice is scrumptious", enthused Allen taking another piece.

"So I see. That's your third piece", laughed Little Eric. "Just glad you like it. Grizzly and I have not made that for a while.

"Love the caramel shortbread too, Grizzly", went on Shaun. "Absolutely delicious."

"Thanks pal. Thank you Southey for making the sultana scones. The are lovely. You have become our ace scone maker."

"You're welcome. I really like baking."

"We are so fortunate to have you three making the delicious cakes", went on Tetley.

"Hmm, heaven sent", breathed Allen, taking a scone and spreading it with butter and jam. He then turned our thoughts to walking, saying, "it was really nice to repeat the walk down to Condor Green and then back along the canal, on Thursday."

"Oh yes", agreed Tetley. "The wooded sections along the canal were beautiful, and despite the flowers being past there was a strong smell of garlic. At 10 miles it was the longest Dad has done for a while and his legs were aching for the rest of the day, but OK the following day."

"Covid has hit his fitness rather, so I do not think we will be venturing on the mountains for a while.", said Little Eric. "I would like to finish the Wainwrights, but I have said all along that Dad does not have to do that."

Southey said, "I wonder if we might get out tomorrow?"

Allen quickly picked up the iPad and navigating to the Met Office app, replied, "looks to be rather unsettled sadly." Then looking at the diary went on, "Dad is going to Elaine's on Tuesday, as it is Uncle Leo's birthday." Then switching back to the weather, said, "Monday is looking Ok. Not sunny but basically dry and very little wind."

"If we are to ask Dad, we need to come up with an idea", stated Tetley.

So we put our thinking caps on, while drinking the tea.

Grizzly said, "how about we see if we can find a route from Loyn Bridge on the road to Gressingham from Hornby."

"Good idea", agreed Tetley. "Please open the OS maps app, Allen."

"OK pal."

Gathering round, Shaun said, "we have walked the Lancashire Ramble path to Arkholme, but never the one on the Melling side of the River Lune. So let's do that, and then walk into Melling village. Good photo opportunities there of the Hall, Church etc."

"Right so where then?", mused Little Eric.

Southey pointed. "Look if we walk a little way along the road towards Hornby there is a path from Melling Green. It leads to Lodge Farm, then going right there leads to Park House Farm, from where we cross Windy Hill and descend to the A683."

"That's great, pal", said Shaun. "And I am sure that they will be new paths we have not walked before. Just shows what we can come up with if we put our minds to it."

"The logical last leg is round the back of Holme Head to the start", said Tetley. "That part we have done before."

"Sounds like a plan", cheered Grizzly. "Now Allen all you need to do is convince Dad to do the route."

"Always me", sighed Allen.

"Well pal you have a way of getting Dad to agree", replied Tetley.

"Must be because you are a tea belly and cake stuffer, like Dad", laughed Shaun.

"Probably", agreed Allen as he trotted out of the room.

"We'll fill you mug again for when you get back", called out Southey.

"Thanks."

A few minutes later he was back, with a glum look on his face.

"Oh heck", called out Little Eric. "Did Dad say no."

Allen could not keep his face straight however. "I was only trying to have you all on. Of course Dad agreed. He really likes the idea of us exploring new ground."

"Yippee", cheered Grizzly.

 

The Walk

As Dad opened the curtains, Southey moaned. "it's wet and drizzling a bit."

"Don't worry pal", consoled Tetley. "This will soon pass over and we will have a dry day."

We had a good breakfast then waited patiently while Dad got ready. "OK lads, time to go."

"Right" called out Grizzly, as we ran out and settled in the car, calling "goodbye" to our Hug pals.

It was a easy drive up the Lune Valley, to Hornby, where we forked left on the road to Gressingham. Very soon we crossed the narrow Loyn Bridge, Dad parking on the right just beyond, having turned round ready for going home later.

Soon ready, we jumped into the rucksack and got comfortable. Shaun instructed, "we recross the bridge and then over the stile by the gate left."

However before doing so, Tetley commented, "please take a shot of the river. It will be nice to include in the story."

"We keep by the fence to the right, along the the path on top of the embankment", said Shaun.

"I presume this was made as a flood defence", commented Allen.

As we proceeded this curved gently away from the river, coming close to a narrower stream. Peering at the map, Southey said, "it's called Old Lune. I wonder if this was once the course of the river?"

Grizzly replied, "I have looked at the book Dad has called 'The Land of the Lune', and also the website of the National Library of Scotland that Uncle Leo, told us about. The map of 1847 shows the Lune flowing in its present course. However the Old Lune was once a channel of the river. This proves therefore the course of the Lune has changed frequently, within relatively recent times."

"Thank you pal", said Southey. "As always you add interest to our adventures."

Arriving at a concrete cross track the embankment ended, Shaun saying, "just keep ahead by the fence as before."

Fairly soon the fence turned away sharp right, with a stream ahead. Allen was looking closely at the map. "We need to find the footbridge marked on the map to get across."

"OK, let's cross to the bank of the stream", replied Dad.

There we looked right and left. Tetley said, "I reckon we should follow it left."

He was quite right and soon the we found the slab footbridge and stile beyond.

As can be seen the field beyond was thick with tall grass that was totally wet, so poor Dad's trousers were soaked to the knees. More fields like this were encountered later in the walk, so they never had the chance to dry out.

As we viewed the way ahead from the stile, Little Eric said, "there is no apparent path. It's a good job too that I am in the rucksack as being so little I would be totally lost amongst the grass.

There are no waymarks at all on this route, and we were faced now with three options at the next boundary. A gate to the left, a gateless gap in the middle, or a gate more to the right.

"Which way?", asked Tetley.

"I really do not know, pal", replied Shaun. "I can only say that it is definitely not the rightward gate."

Dad said, "I am going to head for the gateless gap, the middle route."

Getting there Shaun checked the GPS and comparing the position to the map, said, "we are actually too far east, so really it was the left gate."

"Never mind, lad, I can see where we are, so we'll just plough on."

From the gateless gap, Dad strode on to the next boundary.

Here Southey pointed, "there's a way through the right boundary."

This brought us to a track that led left across the fields.

"That's a lovely tree", pointed Little Eric. "Nice picture for the story."

Ahead we could see this railway arch.

Tetley called out, "we are on route now. We have been along the track that passes under the arch, when we did the walk to Melling Moor. We should cross to the gate to get into the track."

This was soon accomplished and looking about Grizzly called out, "aww look at that pony. Lovely."

The railway arch was in front, and Allen said, "I think it will make a nice picture of big tree framed by the arch."

"OK, we go right along the track that will lead us to the main road, where go right into Melling", instructed Shaun.

At the road, Southey pointed, "there's another lovely horse."

Coming to the junction with the road to Wennington, Allen called out, "look at that old fashioned road sign. I'll bet it dates from the time long before there were motor cars."

We now took time to explore the village. First Dad went a little way along the Wennington road to get this picture of Melling Hall.

Grizzly told us. "it dates from the early to mid 18th century and was originally a house. Then in the 20th century it was a hotel, before reverting to private ownership. In 2020 the owners raffled the property for £2.50 a ticket in aid of the Lancaster St John's Hospice, NHS and other charities."

Turning back Little Eric called out, "look the postbox."

"Ok lad, I'll take a picture", said Dad.

"Ahh there's a seat", said Dad. "I am going to have a rest and a drink and biscuit."

"Great", cheered Allen, as we jumped out of the rucksack. "We can have a sandwich and mug of tea. I am feeling peckish."

"No surprise there", said Tetley laughing loudly.

This done, Southey said, "good place for us to have our picture taken too."

"Can we have a look round the church, please?", asked Grizzly.

"Sure lad", said Dad, as with us safely tucked in the rucksack again, he headed up the steps.

Again Grizzly was armed with information. "This is St Wilfrid's Church, that is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade 1 listed building. Historically the earliest fabric dates from around 1300 or earlier but, as it is near the earthworks of a motte-and-bailey castle, it is possible that a church has been present on the site since the 10th century. Most of the present church dates from the late 15th century, with a restoration in 1763 when the clerestory was added. In 1891 a further restoration was carried out by the Lancaster architects Paley, Austin and Paley. This included reseating the church, and cost £1,100 (equivalent to £120,000 in 2020). A chapel known as the Morley chapel had been created as a chantry from a pre-existing chapel by John Morley who fought at Agincourt 1415. This was heavily re-modelled in 1841 when the altar was removed, and was restored as a chapel in 1994–95.
The church is built in sandstone with a stone slate roof. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave and chancel with north and south aisles. The aisle pews date from the 18th century but the nave pews, the screens, the pulpit, are from the late 19th century."

As we walked up the nave, Allen commented, "there are different levels, with steps up into the chancel where the choir sits, and further steps to the sanctuary and the altar being raised up again."

Grizzly informed us, "the communion rails are from the late 19th century. The stained glass in the east window was designed by Henry Holiday." Then pointing he went on, "the organ was built in 1891 by J. W. Walker of London."

 "Thank you again, pal", said Allen. "Most informative."

Tetley said, "I like the stained glass. Can you take a few pictures to include in the story."

In this one the figure to the right is Wilfrid, after whom the church is dedicated.

And finally this at the west end....

...in front of which stands the font.

"Thank you Dad", said Grizzly, as we headed out of the door.

"Before we leave the churchyard, let's walk up to the back and view the remains of the Motte", suggested Tetley. "It was April 2013 when we last viewed it. That was before you joined us on the walks Southey."

"I would be very interested to see it, then."

Grizzly explained. "Motte castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration.
The motte and bailey castle here at Melling is of particular importance as one of a group of early post-conquest (late 11th century) mottes established along the Lune valley. These sites were all of strategic importance, allowing control of movement along the river valley. More importantly, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the new post-conquest feudal order on the area.
As we can see the monument consists of a conical motte with a truncated top situated on a raised knoll. An adjoining bailey, partly obliterated by Melling church and churchyard, exists in the field to the SW. The monument lies in the garden of the former Melling vicarage and extends for a short distance into a field to the SW. The motte has been landscaped to include a terrace, retaining wall and flight of stone steps."

"Thank you pal", said Southey. "I have had a real history lesson. Wherever did you get the information?"

"From the Historic England website."

So resuming our walk, Shaun said, "we head along the main road towards Hornby to an area of the village called Melling Green."

On the opposite side we passed the Village Hall. "It was built in 1922 so is celebrating its centenary", informed Grizzly.

Southey commented, "it is bedecked with the Union Jack and the flags of England, Scotland and Wales, for the Jubilee Celebrations of the Queen's 70 year reign."

Just a few yards further, Shaun called out, "our route is along this signed track left."

This led to gate beyond which we continued up the field by the fence on the right to the corner, and this gate and stile.

Peering over the gate Tetley said, "yuck! The ground is very muddy. But at least there is a waymark, after the dearth on the first section to Melling."

"Maybe use the stile?" suggested Southey.

Climbing to it, Dad said, "hmm, no, as there will be more muddy ground to cross."

Dad got the gate open and keeping to the left side was soon of firmer ground, but with very muddied boots.

Following the waymark direction we headed straight up the field to a gate in the top boundary, where another waymark directed us slightly right. This was across yet another field with long grass soaking Dad's trousers once again!

At the brow Lodge Farm loomed large ahead. Looking up from the map, Southey said, "it shows the path goes via the farm."

However Shaun pointed. "it must have been diverted, through that waymarked gate to the right."

This took us into another field with tall wet grass. "Oh heck", sighed Dad. "I know we should cross diagonally, but I am going to keep to the left and drop down to the stile in the fence at the bottom, then go right, as there is not long grass there."

As Dad made his way right after the stile, Shaun said, "we still need to be in the field on the other side."

"OK lad, we can climb the gate further along to achieve this."

Then we headed to the gate in the corner and more muddy ground beyond.

"You seem fated to get gates surrounded by boggy ground today", sighed Little Eric.

Meanwhile Tetley was peering at the fastening to see how to open it. "Huh", he exclaimed. "Very Heath Robinson. A length of twine with a hook that goes over that gate hinge support, in the very narrow gap between the two stone pillars."

Dad released it then carefully crossed the muddy ground, before closing the gate and with some difficulty securing the fastening again. We walked ahead by the hedge, soon coming to a waymarked gate on the right.

The waymark pointed straight ahead. Shaun however said, "we need to keep by the left boundary and follow it round."

This soon took us through a gateless gap where a surfaced track led down to Park House Farm. Here Dad went right by a large barn to a gate.

"Where now?", said Southey, seeing there were no waymarks.

Just then the farmer arrived in the yard in his vehicle, and getting out said, "are you lost?"

Dad replied, "I know I am on the right path, but just not sure where it goes from here."

"Up by that hedge on the right", he replied.

A very nice gentleman Dad and he had a little chat before he opened the two gates to set us on our way. Glancing back, Allen said, "there's a waymark by the first gate pointing back the way we have come."

As we walked up the field, Tetley said, "those two oak trees are worth a picture."

At the top Shaun instructed, "keep ahead through the gate, then diagonally right across the square field."

The exit was via kissing gate. "Oh how glad you must be to have long trousers on today", commented Allen, seeing the nettles.

"Absolutely lad! Avoiding getting stung had I been in shorts would have been impossible."

Beyond we joined the track and kept on through a narrow wood and up the field. The route was now quite obvious. Through the gate on the right then on in the same direction to climb the prominent ladderstile.

Looking at the map Southey said, "we are now on Windy Bank, and that large maintained barn is called Windy Barn. We go past that to the right."

"So named because of the exposed location, I assume", chuckled Grizzly.

At the far end the view opened out towards the unmistakable shape of Ingleborough with Simon Fell and Park Fell more distantly, forming the backdrop to Lodge Farm, where we had walked earlier.

Through the gateless gap, the track went left by the wall to descend through a gate and continue, the main road being seen down to the right.

"Ooh those rhododendrons make a nice sight", called out Little Eric.

"We don't want to follow the track all the way", said Shaun. "Rather we need to drop down the bank to that gate onto the road."

"OK lad."

By the gate the verge was very overgrown and Dad had to force his way through.

"Now right for a little way to take the stile on the left", advised Shaun.

There was no verge to walk on and the road bent round with no sight of any oncoming traffic. "I'll be glad when we get to the stile", said Little Eric anxiously.

This stile was a little awkward and there were steps down into the field.

Then we crossed left to walk behind the buildings of Holme Head Farm, following the signs through two gates then another onto a concrete track. Then on through another gate and along by the stone wall.

"We have been this way before", said Tetley. "We need to cross to the far side of the wall and then head on, to come out at the remains of Castle Stede Motte & Bailey.

Pointing Grizzly said, "those are the ramparts of the oval-shaped bailey below which is a ditch. The modern causeway we walked through to gain access is on the site of the original." Then pointing behind, he went on, "the steep slope down to the river afforded protection to the N and NW side."

What is that?", said Southey.

"A pill box, built during World War II. One of many throughout the country as protection for people to fight off invaders. Thankfully they were not needed, as the RAF defeating the Luftwaffe, caused the Germans to change their plans and call off any invasion", informed Grizzly

Past this we dropped down to the stile and walked back the short way to cross Loyn Bridge to the car.

"What a lovely walk", said Southey.

"Quite", agreed Allen. "Thank you Dad as always. And a sheep picture free story too. Yippee!"

"Aye a grand day out", went on Tetley.

Apart from the farmer at Park House, we had seen on other person, from start to finish.

Dad drove off home, Shaun suddenly saying, "you forgot to take a picture of Loyn Bridge."

"Darn so I did."

"Not to worry, we can use one we took on previous walks from here", stated Tetley.

The present bridge replaces an older bridge, which is thought to have been constructed with timber decking between stone piers, and there is evidence that the river was forded here before a bridge was built. The date of the building of the present bridge is unknown; it is considered to have been after 1591, when the previous bridge was described as being 'in a dangerous condition'. It is constructed in sandstone blocks, and consists of three segmental arches with triangular cutwaters containing refuges for pedestrians. The arches measure 53 feet (16.2 m), 62 feet 6 inches (19.1 m) and 52 feet (15.8 m) respectively. The carriageway is 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, and the maximum width of the bridge at the points of the piers is 33 feet 6 inches (10.2 m). Source Wikipedia

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