BB1128 : Heversham Head and Mhor

Thursday 22nd September 2011

It was good to learn that Graham was able to join us today.  In the early days of BOOTboys he was often with us but the wear and tear of many years of running, climbing and playing tennis took its toll on his body, curtailing his activities.  When I learned that he was game for an outing, I sent him a cautious e-mail trying to elicit just how much he could do so that we could tailor the activity around his capabilities.  Back came a message saying that he had climbed Ben Mhor last week and had no problems in tackling the 8 miles and 1,000 feet I was proposing.

I put Ben Mhor into Google and was somewhat abashed to discover that it is 3,169 feet high- rather more than anything we have done lately.  However, I noticed that this hill was on the Isle of Mull whereas Graham had referred to South Uist which is in the Hebrides. I then realised that Google had misdirected me to Ben More, not Ben Mhor.  Or to be mhor precise, my target should have been Beinn Mhor, a rather lower 2,034 feet but still a serious outing.  Clearly Graham is getting back to his old form with his new knee..

Would my modest proposal satisfy him?

My personal objective was to climb Heversham Head, following in the footsteps of William Wordsworth who, allegedly whilst rambling in the marshes nearby, gained the inspiration to write the sonnet The World Is Too Much With Us.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. - Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

Sir Winston Churchill once commented on the glorious view which can be seen from the top of Heversham Head.  He too was moved to poetry.  Imagine his growly voice reciting:

Soon after I leapt out of bed

I climbed up the Heversham Head

The view was sublime

I thought at the time

Then I repaired to the inn to be fed

And that's all that there is to be said.

Actually, I lied.  It wasn't Churchill. He did visit but It was me wot wrote that doggerel!

We, i.e.. Graham, Philip and I, met at the Strickland Arms on a three quarters decent day, a rare occurrence in this rotten summer, and set off through Low Sizergh Farm.

What a surprising place this is.  I knew it well for its excellent farm shop but was not aware that the products available to taste included England Silver!  Mind your teeth!  

Free samples?

Low Sizergh Farm

Beware of fairies

Also that you need to beware of strange little folk on the path that runs down towards the river.  

After passing through the old gunpowder factory site (manager's house crying out for development) we crossed the River Kent by the suspension bridge and followed the river until the path that climbs up near the Sedgwick House cricket field, to and beyond the old canal, until we reached the railway.  

Sedgwick gunpowder house

Bridge over the River Kent

River Kent looking downstream

Sedgwick House

Looking back over Sedgwick

Had we gone yesterday we could possibly have seen a steam train but not today. To the north-west we could see the Maize Maze but it is likely to have been a poor season for visitors as the crop has not grown very high this year.

Not so amazing

Beware of trains

We continued south, crossing back under the railway.  The flag flying at Well Head proved to be that of the Barcelona Football Club.

Graham, who is a photographer of repute (see Allscape) was moved to get his camera out to picture the stone stile.  Photographing photographers is something I like to do so here he is in action!


Photographing the photographer

Tunnel Hill- the route taken by the horses to avoid the Hincaster Canal Tunnel (see BB1126)- was our route to Hincaster and its ancient hall

Garden feature

Hincaster Hall

Curiously, Hincaster Hall seems to be the headquarters of Bramwell International, the UK distributors for Meindl, Source and Gregory, producers of outdoor footwear, sandals and hydration systems and backpacks respectively, although you would not think it to look at this old building.

After a cross-field excursion to Mabbin Hall, we traversed east around the Heverham Head Plantation before climbing west up to the Head itself.

Comitibus: Heversham Head

Regarding the structure on the top of the Head, local architect Paul Grout explains:

The view marker on Heversham Head was the result of a consultation carried out by the Parish Council amongst the residents of Heversham on the best way to celebrate the Millennium.

It is located a short distance from the very top of the Head at a point where the spectacular views towards the Lake District fells and the Yorkshire dales are at their finest.  From the marker it is possible to see as far as Ingleborough to the east and  Helvellyn to the west with the splendour of the Kent estuary to the south.

The marker consists of a octagonal limestone column which carries a circular slate slab on which the profile of the views is etched and annotated.  Above this is a limestone block carved in a representation of the views, a collaboration between the artist Lara Clahane and the sculptor, her husband, Danny.  The top surface has an inset slate compass.

The marker was funded by the Parish Council, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council and by local public subscription.  It was unveiled on midsummer day in the year 2000.

The Millennium. column

If you want to know mhor about Heversham, visit the village website where its definitive history has been written by local historian Roger Bingham.

We dropped down into Leasgill then on to the magnificent Levens Hall.  We couldn't see any Bagot goats today, other than the one used in the emblem by the gate.

Levens Hall

River Kent in Levens Park

Bagot Goat emblem

Strickland Arms

Having passed through the north side of Levens Park then by the Heaves Hotel, we took the Strickland Arms by surprise from behind.

The debate was whether to lunch here or at the Sizergh Castle cafe but the Dicky Doodles beer plus baguettes on the menu at The Strick decided the matter.

I have only one thing to add to the report and that is that Graham seemed happy with our route today so there is no need to say any mhor!

Don, 22nd September 2011


Post Script: Heversham Head

There are several fine photos of the view from Heversham Head to be found on the internet.

I hope the copyright holders will forgive me for showing these on the basis that if you click on the image you will be taken to the website from which they originate where you will find larger copies of the photos plus plenty mhor information.


Post Post Script: Levens Hall

Susie Bagot of Levens Hall, who had unveiled the viewpoint marker in 2000, subsequently informed me that Winston Churchill often used to stay at Levens Hall as Mrs Josceline Bagot was his cousin!  He made one of his earliest speeches from the front steps!  





Thursday 22nd September

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Heversham Head


Don, Graham, Philip


BOOTboys routes ares now being put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1128.

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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2011 Outings

BB1101 :
Wasnfell Revisited
Tuseday 11th January

BB1102 :
Recuperation Scar!
Thursday 17th February

BB1103 :
A Promenade of Pensioners
Thursday 24th February

BB1104 :
The B Team
Thursday 3rd March

BB1105 :
  A Little Bit Of Wind
Thursday 10th March

BB1106 :
A Linthwaite Round
Thursday 17th March

BB1107 :
Home From The Pulpit
Thursday 24th March

BB1108 :
Taking The Brunt
Thursday 31st March

BB1109 :
Up The Spout
Wednesday 6th April

BB1110 :
Not The Royal Wedding
Friday 29th April

BB1111 :
Kentmere Parts 1 & 2
Thurs 5th, Saturday 7th May

BB1112 :
Five Unknown Tarns
Wednesday 11th May

BB1113 :
Gurnal Dubbs Revisited
Thursday 19th May

BB1114 :
A March Through The Mist
Wednesday 1st June

BB1115 :
Brief Encounter
Wednesday 8th June

BB1116 :
Extraordinary and
Lesser Mortals
Wednesday 15th June

BB1117 :
Farewell David Daw
Wednesday 29th June

BB1118 :
West Side Story
Thursday 7th July

BB1119 :
st Side Story
Wednesday 13th July

 BB1120 :
All The Way From Barrow
Wednesday 20th July

 BB1121 :
Suitable For The Guests!
Thursday 28th July

BB1122 :
Graylings In Flagrante
Wednesday 3rd August

BB1123 :
The First Indecision Outing
Wednesday 24th August

BB1124 :
The Second Indecision Outing
Thursday 25th August

BB1125 :
The Tale of Tony's Triumph
Wednesday 31st August

BB1126 :
The Gunpowder Trail
Wednesday 7th September

BB1127 :
Four Lords a-Leaping
Thursday 15th September

BB1128 :
Heversham Head and Mhor
Thursday 22nd September

BB1129 :
Training For The Himalayas
Wednesday 28th September

BB1130 :
Turn Again, Whittington
Thursday 13th October


The Way Of The Roses
12th - 14th September


 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 BOOT
boy in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on BB Log.