GLW1403 : A Stainton Circuit

Thursday 15th May 2014

It's funny, isn't it, how you can spend a large part of your life in a particular area and yet still be shown paths and places of which you were unaware?

When Roger and Denise suggested a walk from their house, I was confident that I would know more or less everywhere that we would go.

Wrong!  However, on the way, I was able to refer to a couple of things about which they were unaware.  Honour almost retrieved!

The walk "proper" started at Stainton at the bridge over what used to be the end of the canal.  Or, to be more precise, where the canal ended because further on had been filled in.  However someone has been to the trouble of digging it out and then damming it.  Strange.

The old end

The new end

The footpath to Stainton was enlivened by some young cows making a sudden appearance through the bushes.  They were followed by several of their pals who tried to intimidate us but I put my SAS training to good use by jumping and roaring at them to make them back off.  And so they did. Fortunately!

How now black and white cow?

Stainton bridge

Stainton features a very narrow stone footbridge over St Sunday's Beck, close to the old ford.  The once derelict building (see BB1307 ) is now in the process of being turned into a smart looking cottage.  The Church, however, continues to dilapidate and needs serious attention.  

Cottage renovation

Church non-renovation

Further along, Roger pointed out something of a surprise.  I thought the stream was just merrily making its way down alongside the road.  However, on closer attention you can see the remains of what once would have been a weir and, looking closer still, you can see where the old mill pond would have been.

The former mill pond on St Sunday's Beck, Stainton

At Skettlegil we crossed over the fields (more cows) to Summerlands.  This is where I was able to score my first victory.  They (Roger & Denise, not the cows although I suppose it applies equally to the latter) were unaware that amidst the houses on the small estate exists a plaque positioned in 1949 to record that the bungalows "Ellan Vannin" and "Snaefell" were erected with funds "generously subscribed by the citizens of the Isle of Man in the desire that the bungalows would, in the years that lie ahead, provide harbours of rest and comfort for seamen no longer able to go to sea and for their families".

At the plaque

A Summerlands garden

The second victory was only mentioned, not seen: they were not aware of the Quaker burial ground on the other side of the A65.

We, however, were heading south, along a beautifully mowed old lane then through fields until we reached Old Hall, not that we could see much of it.

The mown lane

What a porker!

Seen better days!

Continuing south, we soon reach Oldhall Bridge and the canal towpath where some of us saw two herons (or one heron twice) but the wretched thing(s) would not stay still long enough to get a decent picture.

It was now a pleasant evening; sun, distant hills to be seen, canal water still (except where disturbed by ducks) and with lovely reflections.

The canal bridge

Family outing

The tow path led us almost to Stainton but, just before reaching its end, we took a short cut down to the road to Viver.

Now you see him

This is where Roger did a magic disappearing trick.

One moment you could see him. The next you couldn't.

Not unless you dug deep amongst the brambles and nettles.

Poor lad had been gallantly escorting Margaret down the steep banking when he slipped on the greasy steps and vanished from view.

Fortunately no harm done. 

Now you don't

The road to Viver


Back at their home, we sat out in the sun drinking a toast to their imminent granddaughter before tackling a delicious surprise supper that Denise lay before us. 

Don, 15th May 2014


Distance: 6.1 miles


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