: Samboo and the Horizon Line Chamber
11th April 2019
to his gravestone, Poor Samboo was "A faithfull
negro who (attending his Master from the West Indies)
Died on his Arrival at Sunderland". We are talking
about Sunderland on the River Lune near Lancaster, not
the one on the River Wear.
first heard of Sambo's Grave*
(the OS map drops the second "O") several years ago
and had it in the back of my mind to visit someday.
The memory faded but then was revived when Timothy
West and Prunella Scales related the story in the episode
of their barge series that featured the Lancaster to
was a glorious day but very cold with a bitter easterly
wind. Our initial idea of climbing Man Crag, as
featured in the Westmorland Gazette, quickly vanished.
Samboo was calling to us.
have to be a bit careful. He lies near Sunderland
Point. The direct road to this once flourishing
port, now a tiny hamlet, floods at high tide. That,
I learned, is why it is called Sunderland: land put
asunder by the tide. This would be in mid-afternoon,
just when we expected to arrive. A different line
of attack was needed.
drove through Middleton and multiple caravan sites eventually
to reach a lonely parking area on the coast at Potts
Corner. Here is a wide land and seascape. West
of the Lakeland hills, you can see just the Vickers
submarine yards at Barrow in Furness. Panning
round Morecambe Bay , on the south side is the Knott
the land, to the right of a small hill could that be.......
is it really......yes, it's Blackpool Tower!!
south along the coast had the great merit of not being
able to see the Heysham Nucelar Power Station!
we approached where we believed Samboo to lie, we came
to a strip of land where a magnificent new wall had
been constructed. On the other side of the wall
was a strange stone igloo or egg-shaped building. Weird.
What could it be? A nuclear fallout shelter
in case Heysham goes ballistic?
importantly, where was Samboo?
transpired that Samboo now lies inside the walled area,
at its far end, but this is not his mausoleum. His
18th century grave lies pretty much as I had seen it
in photos. Two plaques and lots of floral and
painted tributes, mostly from children.
to the igloo, a plaque called it an Horizon Line Chamber*
but adds no further information about its purpose.
door was open so we went inside. It
is a very confined space, lit only by a
looked through but couldn't fathom out its
purpose. It was weird. There
was no lighting so we kept the door open.
I now know that this was exactly the wrong
thing to do.
is a camera obscura, the porthole serves
to throw an image of the horizon onto the
walls. Unfortunately we were not aware of
this. It is brand new; in fact I suspect
it is not yet finished.
rest of the outing was simple in comparison. We
walked down a narrow, shrub lined lane to emerge on
the other side of the peninsula, in the hamlet itself.
right, we passed the old houses then continued along
the pebbly beach with its ancient posts being the only
visible reminder of its erstwhile existence as a port.
the river, Glasson Dock could be seen.
the corner were more old jetty posts.
salt marsh had formed into topiary like shapes.
passed Samboo's resting place and the Igloo once again.
On the horizon were the Lakeland Hills, a Dublin
Ferry and, yes, Heysham Nuclear Power Station.
Samboo having that for company. But at least now
his ghost can wander free to haunt the chamber that
stands near his grave.
Wednesday 10th April 2019
You can read more about these features at: Samboo