BB1046 : Uncle Monty's, Please!

Thursday 28th December 2010

Uncle Monty’s place, please!” requested Tony when we were discussing where to go for our 2010 Grand Finale.

Coupling that with lunch at the Mosedale Cottage bothy seemed a good idea as an all-weathers outing.  I was curious to have another look inside as I had picked up some gossip about it having been used as an Al Qaeda training camp but was unable to find any evidence to support this on the internet.

There was a good response.  As promised by Tony if we visited Uncle Monty’s place, his son Alex with wife Helen debuted as also did BOOTboys follower, Steve and his friend Mark.  Add year-end regulars Ian and Martin to Roger and myself and it was the largest turnout of the year.

A rather low Wet Sleddale Reservoir

Unfortunately, the snow was melting fast as we congregated at the strangely low for the time of year Wet Sleddale Reservoir.  The mist was down and, although it was not actually raining, it was damp in the air yet icy under foot.

We set off up the valley, crossed the beck and climbed up to Uncle Monty’s, a.k.a. Sleddale Hall.  

To recap, this is the building that, under the title Crow Hall, was featured in the film Withnail and I and has achieved iconic status for afficianados of the film.  

Previous visits (see BB0812, BB0831 and BB0907) have included tours of the inside but now that it has been sold (at the second attempt) it is securely boarded up. Signs announce the fact of a new owner and that should you wish to see the inside of the house please contact Tim at

Comitibus: Sleddale Hall

Slightly frustrated, we headed off up the valley, in quite poor visibility. In a plastic bag, Mark found some mechanical part that Tony clearly coveted.  I haven't a clue what it was.

Tony covets Mark's find

Crossing Mosedale Beck

Over the moor we went to drop down into Mosedale.  After crossing the beck by the bridge we worked our way up to Mosedale Cottage where the swollen beck had to be recrossed without the assistance of artificial means.

Someone had arrived at the cottage before us.  Inside was a young man awaiting his pals from Shap. They were planning to stay the night and maybe do some work on the cottage.  Or maybe not.  His attempt to light the stove was fairly half hearted but fortunately we had come prepared with lighters, kindling and logs so soon got a decent fire going.  

Mosedale Cottage....

Whilst we were having lunch, two of his friends arrived on a quad bike.  More were expected.  After all, the cottage has been refurbished with some very comfortable armchairs and now makes an excellent venue for a night away from civilisation.

It was a bit brighter when we left and as we returned to the bridge, a trail bike appeared heading up the valley.  

Another pal arriving.

We met one more, on foot this time, as we crossed back over into Wet Sleddale.

..... and its incumbent

A late arrival

Reapproaching Sleddale Hall

After passing by Sleddale Hall once more, we spotted the handiwork of the local molecatcher.  Shortly afterwards the party split into two.  A breakaway group of three decided to see if it was possible to cross back to the other side of the reservoir via the dam wall.  No names, no pack drill, but the more law abiding of us (i.e. wimps) opted for the much longer road route, spotting on the way a Victorian Post Box (Tony likes them) and some fell ponies.

Murdered moles- the evidence

Victorian post box

The dam wall

A Fell pony- click for more

Actually, the renegades failed in their objective due to the depth of the overflow drop but did manage a direct route back to the cars along the foot of the dam.  As the rest of us came up the road, we were passed by a United Utilities vehicle heading up to the car park.  Had they been spotted on closed circuit tv and were being pulled in for trespassing?

Crossing the beck- legitimately

United Utilities protecting its property

When we arrived, the three were engaged in conversation with the driver but it turned out to be totally amicable.  He was explaining that 33 million litres of water were taken from the reservoir daily for the benefit of the salmon in the River Eamont.   At least, that’s what I understood the explanation to be although it does seem rather far fetched.  It might explain the lack of water, however.

And so ended another BOOTboys year.  A good way to finish and a record year in many ways- number of outings (46 reports), distance walked (516 miles), height climbed (128,000 feet) and number of participants (19).

Don, 29th December 2010




Thursday 28th December 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Uncle Monty's Cottage, Mosedale Cottage


Alex, Don, Helen, Ian, Mark, Martin,
Roger, Steve, Tony

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow the route in detail by downloading BB1046

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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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

BB1034 :
A Good One For Tony
Thursday 23rd September

BB1035 :
The Wainwright Triathlon
Tuesday 21st - Thursday 23rd

BB1036 :
The Nine Standards
or The Battle Of Birkett Hills
Thursday 30th September

BB1037 :
This Is The Way
The Wainwrights End
Thursday 7th October

BB1038 :
A Return To Sanity?
Thursday 14th October

BB1039 :
A Succession of Scars
Thursday 21st October

BB1040 :
Three Old Men Of Lochnagar
Monday 25th - Friday 29th October

BB1041 :
A Whinash Winterscleugh Wander
Wednesday 10th November

BB1042 :
The Rusland Round
Thursday 18th November

BB1043 :
The Lion, The Lamb and
The Howitzer
Thursday 25th November

BB1044 :
Down Memory Lane
Thursday 2nd December

BB1045 :
A Cold Comes Out
Thursday 9th December

BB1046 :
Uncle Monty's, Please!!
Wednesday 29th December


BB10xtra :
A Christmas Tale
Saturday 25th December

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

 Click on the photos
for an enlargement
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.