BB1025 : The Men of Gragareth

Thursday 24th June 2010

Gragareth.  Strange name  It sounds Welsh and perhaps it is.  Or was.  Like Pen-y-Ghent (see BB0933 When Yorkshire was Welsh).  Only this is actually in Lancashire.  Indeed some references say that it’s the highest point in Lancashire although others accord that privilege to Green Fell.  Gragareth lies four miles due north of Ingleton and its eastern slopes lie in Yorkshire.  But that is political.  Geologically, it is clearly in Limestone Country and recorded as such in Wainwright’s so-entitled book of walks.

It was a first appearance for Tony for six weeks, which is why Bryan had selected something rather gentler to recondition him.  The weather was a disappointment- whilst Wimbledon basked in sunshine, Gragareth was only just clear of a heavy cloud layer.

We parked in Leck and followed the road up through the village.

Reflections of BOOTboys in Leck

Gragareth from Leck

There was an amusing incident as we reached Bank House with it fine display of washing. A flock of sheep appeared in the road followed by a farmer who barked commands at us as if we were sheep dogs in order to stop the sheep venturing into a yard.  To be fair, he complimented us on our herding skills, tickled us behind the ears and threw us a bone.

Washing and flock

On reaching the lonely Leck Fell House, we headed up the hill to visit the Three Men of Gragareth- ancient cairns that are visible for miles on the skyline.  Actually there are three sets of cairns visible.  

Seven Men of Gragareth?

The right hand set features a single cairn (man?) and a rather neat shelter (his home?). In the middle are the Three Men and to the left what used to be two cairns have been recently converted to another three men. Usurpers or just someone’s idea to confuse the poor walker?

One Man and his shelter

Three Men and their would be usupers

Comitibus: The Three Men of Gragareth

The climb to the cairns was moderately steep but thereafter it is a much more gentle ascent to the trig point summit with its panorama of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.  By now, a strong cold breeze had arisen so we took shelter in a dip in the ground where we had lunch.

Gragareth Summit, Ingleborough to the right

Afterwards, we headed north along the ridge for a while before dropping down to the shooting hut where we picked up the track back to Leck Fell House.

The Shooting Hut

Bryan inspects a pot hole

Here we turned north west and followed a wall past a pothole entrance with belay points and down to a river.  Except the river was totally dry, presumably now flowing some distance underground.  Going down the river bed, a torrent of stones, was like descending a Cretan gorge.  Soon we reached a point where the river bed suddenly dropped some twenty feet or so.  Even if we could have got down (which I doubt) we would not have been able to climb back out so we started to make our way around the side of the gorge. Bryan and I had the feeling that we had seen this before, then it came back to us.  This was Ease Gill and what we had been looking at was its Upper Kirk, which, on BB0714, three years earlier, even Stan had failed to climb.  Correct decision!

The torrent of stones

The Upper Kirk impass

We descended alongside the ravine, dropping down to the now emerged river after the ruined house at Anneside. Fish (presumably trout) were leaping so we had to linger until Tony had spotted one in the pool.   

Tony inspects Anneside

The trout pool

Thereafter, it was a gentle stroll back to the car in what was not becoming a pleasant sunny late afternoon.

To end: a photo of a tractor that got Tony excited and a different interpretation of the Three, or is it Six, Men of Gagareth.

Tony's tractor

The Six Men of Gragareth

Don, 24th June 2010


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24th June 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Gragareth (Walks in Limestone Country))

Other Features:

Ease Gill

Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 6, Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Bryan, Don, Tony


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1025.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June

BB1023 :
Something Brutal
Thursday 10th June

BB1024 :
Rendezvous on Haycock
Thursday 17th June

BB1025 :
The Men of Gragareth
Thursday 24th June

BB1026 :
The Smardale Round
Thursday 1st July

BB1027 :
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Thursday 8th July

BB1028 :
All Around the Edge
Thursday 29th July

BB1029 :
The Return of Uncle Jamie
Thursday 5th August

BB1030 :
The Examination Results
Thursday 12h August

BB1031 :
Nick by Haggis
Thursday 19th August

BB1032 :
And Then There Were Two
Thursday 26th August

BB1033 :
A Surplus of Sheepfolds
Thursday 2nd September


BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

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or related large picture.







To see which Wainwright top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!