: Morland, With Grateful Thanks
12th June 2021
Grateful Thanks go to the Historic Houses
Association. Without them it is unlikely
we would have discovered this Great Little
that the Lake District and other honey pots
would be heaving with post-lockdown visitors,
we strove to find somewhere that would be
both crowd-free and attractive. Enter
the HHA. Listed among its members
is Morland House.
of Shap and west of Appleby is a stretch
of countryside, close to the River Lyvennet
(a tributary of the Eden) that I remembered
as having a series of attractive villages
ranging from Orton up to Kings Meaburn.
I had never included Morland in that
list. On the few occasions I passed
through it seemed to be just an unattractive
place with run-down semi-industrial or agricultural
we noticed that Morland House was an HHA
property with gardens open to members, we
thought it might be worth a visit. Then,
when I discovered that Morland had a church
with a Saxon tower plus other features of
merit, it seemed like the place was worth
a visit on its own merit. That proved
almost stopped at Kings Meaburn to have
our butties- it is so attractive with its
wide open greens adjacent to the river.
However we decided to press on.
impression on driving into Morland was positive,
even though its demerits still exist. The
challenge was finding somewhere to park.
Fortunately we managed to find a place
at the gates to the overspill grave yard.
next challenge was to find somewhere to
eat. Experience tells me that there
is always a seat in an old English churchyard,
generally facing south. Perfect. Only,
to my great surprise, there isn’t one at
St Lawrence’s. So we passed by Morland
House, discovered Morland Beck and had our
lunch whilst sat on its rocks in the sunshine.
gardens. This Tudor building is now
a small country house hotel, the only information
I could give you would be lifted from its
gardens are extensive and probably beyond
the capacity of the owners to maintain them
all in pristine condition. Some of
the formal parts are lovely. Other
parts could be lovely and still have their
charm. Bits are overgrown but a path
down by the river adds an extra and positive
the café was heaving, clearly a magnet
for the lycra clad brigade. The pub
seemed open but quiet. And there was
hardly anyone else around.
left the village heading east then shortly
turned right onto an ancient cart track
that led between hedgerows and provided
views of the Pennines looking splendid in
the sun. We paused in a large field
to have a coffee.
grass had been recently cut and fortunately
not yet sprayed with silage. We were
enjoying the panorama and posting WhatsApp
photos of the radio station on the top of
Great Dun Fell when something caught our
eye moving at the far end of the field.
It was a reddish-brown colour. “Look,”
I said. “A fox.” We watched Reynard
sniffing around, into the hedgerow and back
out. Was it really a fox? Its
movement didn’t quite seem dog-like. Or
was it a doe? Too small. A rabbit?
Too big, too brown and too boundy.
I walked slowly down the field to
investigate. It turned out to be the
largest hare I have ever seen (not that
I have seen many).
on our way, we soon reached the River Lyvennet.
The path led alongside the river,
through a wood below a cliff, emerging at
a crossing place. This is marked on
the OS map as a yellow road with a ford.
There is a warning sign telling people
not to attempt to drive across as it is
in dangerous condition. To be more
precise, the river bed seemed perfectly
drivable for a vehicle with a reasonably
high wheel base. The problem was the
access and egress which presumably had been
washed away in Storm Desmond or the like.
It can’t be that long ago as the surface
on the approach road was in reasonable condition.
there is a footbridge. A wooden one
perched on substantial stone pillars of
what presumably had been a proper bridge
within living memory.
road on the other side of the ford, though
minor, was also in good, weed-free condition
despite lack of usage. Turning right
at the first junction took us onto a somewhat
less minor road that led us back into Morland.
To my surprise, the church was open
so we looked inside. It is a pleasant,
typical English country church, displaying
the usual ancient boards with the 10 Commandments,
the Creed etc and various ancient features.
Perhaps the most interesting item
is a 17th century collecting box for the
Poor. Sadly but inevitably the door
to the Saxon tower was locked. To
discover more, see Morland
car was where we had left it (fortunately)
at the entrance to the graveyard. It
had been another Great Little Walk and,
given the evening sunshine and extensive
views, a great little drive home. Thank
you, Historic Houses Association.
Saturday 12th June 2021
1:50k map; 4.5 miles,