: The Castle and the Priory
29th December 2011
day to go out for our final outing of the year? In
the end the decision was settled for us by the death
of Percy Duff whose memorial service is tomorrow.
was a man of many interests and talents.
of most relevance to those BOOTboys who
did not know him is that he took over from
Alfred Wainwright as Kendal Borough Council
Treasurer in 1967, retiring from what became
SLDC in 1982 but continuing as treasurer
of Kendal Town Council until 1998. He
was an honorary Citizen of the town and an
to the area may have seen his four books
about Kendal or some of the many old time
photographs collected by him and his late
him mainly through the Kendal Green Investment Club
of which he was the senior member.
Others may have known Percy through his motorcycling interests.
A young Tony delivered his papers and later had motorcycle road safety lessons from him. The Barbon Hill Climb is now named after
He was also a keen follower of Kendal rugby
club and involved with many other local societies.
death is a sad loss to the town.
thought we might have a nostalgic Percy moment as we
drove down past Barbon and on to the White Scar Caves.
However, the plan changed when the cave management
were a bit dismissive of the awful weather forecasts but
couldn't comment on whether the caves were likely to
be open until after 10 a.m. on the day.
more faith in the Met Office and the Mountain
Weather Information Service, we decided
to abort the mission and, instead, caught
the train south.
plan was to visit Lancaster
once regarded as the most secure
prison in England and one of the few with direct access
from the cells to the courtroom, hence the trial there
of IRA bombers, not to mention the Pendle witches.
you know that you are not allowed to take
photographs on railway stations anymore?
it is an arrestable offence, so that terrorists can't
identify the 9:23 from Oxenholme. From the bridge
is OK, however. I couldn't help thinking of an adaptation
of an old student song:
at station by photographer, all unknown!
the train is in the station
Have regard for railway
a engine you would photo
From the platform
you must go to
A place that's not
on Railtrack property
I know that Railtrack was superceded by Network Rail
but that does't scan as well!
train ran to time and we arrived at the castle at a
quarter to ten, only to find a sign saying "closed".
We hoped this referred to the previous day but
there was no sign of anyone, prisoner or otherwise.
Not too deterred as we were a little early, we
crossed over the green to the church or, to be more
precise, the Priory
Church of St Mary.
we found a very helpful verger, Tom Barnish, who showed us several
features of interest, in particular the misericords
which, without his help, I doubt we would have found
as they are carvings underneath the choir seats.
parts of the church are 15th century, these
are 13th century and are thought to have
been brought from a quite different site.
seems that quite a lot of the Priory has
been materially altered over the years.
particular interest was the addition of
a special chapel dedicated to the Lancashire
Regiment which featured battle flags and other military
an hour soon passed before we once again
tried to gain entrance to the castle.
locked and nobody to be seen. We returned to the
church porch, mentally drafting a letter of complaint
as the website had clearly implied that the Castle would
be open from 10 a.m. albeit only for guided tours starting
Just as we reached the "Yours,
more in sorrow than in anger" line, we were paradoxically
disappointed to realise that this effort was in vain
and that someone had just gone through the castle door.
Again we crossed the green and banged on the door.
An apologetic guide opened it and explained that,
whilst the guides had arrived, the castle janitor was
no where to be found. Fortunately, this guide had a
key and was able to open up for us and an handful of
were then allocated a different guide, a young lady
who was very knowledgeable about the building and its
history, much more so than you often find in such places.
for the purposes of this report, photography
is not permitted by law anywhere in a court
building, even in the public rooms.
I have had to borrow a few pictures.
each case, clicking on the image takes you
to the relevant website.
I have infringed copyright, I hope that
the holders will forgive me due to this
bit of extra publicity they will receive
tour was very interesting even though it only covers
some 20% of the building. The rest, although no
longer used as a prison, is still owned by the prison
authorities and there are no known plans of what the
now deteriorating building is to become.
saw the civil court (where some of us have attended
and the criminal court (to which no one admitted
having been summoned). This, at one time, was
extremely busy, serving much of Lancashire and pronouncing
frequent executions. These were held just outside the
building and opposite the Priory Church where the vicar
would charge the wealthy to climb up onto the roof for
a better view. A good hanging could attract a
crowd of up to 6,000. Not all on the roof, of
were several other rooms of real interest including
the dungeons where prisoners awaited their fate. As
on my last visit, aged about 8, we were shut in with
the lights switched off.
was worried about being transported to Van Diemen's
Others of us were wishing.....!
couldn't judge where Alex, his son, stood on this point.
of judging, we had hoped that the visit would include
Lodging but, unfortunately,
that is operated separately and is closed from November
the tour, we were intending to drop down to the river
and see the Maritime
Museum but it
was only 11:45 and the leaflet said that it opened at
12:30. The helpful young lady in the castle phoned
ahead but could get no reply. Nevertheless, we
set off towards the museum, inspecting the Roman baths
on the way, then down the slippery steps to the riverside
road. There's a nice bit of alliteration!
we turn left of the museum and risk it still not being
open or turn right to visit the oldest pub in Lancaster,
the 800 year old Three Mariners?
don't need to ask.
in the Three Mariners
was almost reminiscent of that time in Menton (BB0836)
when we dropped down off the mountains for a swift pint
only for it to turn into an unplanned session. Fortunately,
in this respect, Bryan was not with us today so we were
able to settle for a modest two pints and, as they did
not serve food, headed off to find somewhere that did.
settled on the Sun Inn and resumed our previous activity
coupled with a rather long wait for the sausage ciabattas
and chips to arrive. They were good but it left
us just a little bit short of time to return to the
station comfortably. Nevertheless, we overcame the challenge
of the climb back to catch the train home.
round off this account and the BOOTboys'
year with an adaptation of the seasonal favourite, please
join me in wassailing:
Castle and the Priory
When both you are shown round
all the buildings in the neighbourhood
'Tis the Castle
wears the crown
the rising of the Red Rose
And the running of the
This saga of our merry visit
Like the BOOTboys'
year, ends soon
before it ends, there is one more thing I want to say
and that is Thank You.
has been a rather different year for me, healthwise,
to that which I had anticipated and I am so grateful
for the comradeship and support that Margaret and I
have received from the BOOTboys
and all our other friends and relations.
You All and Happy New Year!
29th December 2011
and aging had its effect on this year's statistics.
number of outings fell back from last year's record
(46) to the norm of 40.
total mileage (excluding the two non walk reports) was 348 with an average of 8.9 whilst
total height climbed was well down at 52,814 (average
the other hand, the number of participants rose by 3
to 22, even if two of them were ladies (not a precedent,
it has happened before including last year). Average BBs per outing
rose from 3.9 to 4.75, probably reflecting in part the
less challenging terrain covered.
of fhe statistics, it feels like it was a good year
but it would be nice to get back to some of our outings
being a bit more challenging next year.
tale of the ancient visit to the Old Dungeon Gill prompted
John S, who was there and the one implied to have threatened
the Landlord, wrote to correct the record.
a Grey Day?
follower and exile from north of the border, Henry McC
sought to correct the record in BB1139 regarding my
use of a Scottish term.
for yourself at What
a Grey Day.
29th December 2011
Castle, St Mary's Priory
Don, John L, Stan, Tony, Roger B
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A Little Bit Of
Home From The
Taking The Brunt
Up The Spout
Not The Royal Wedding
Kentmere Parts 1 & 2
5th, Saturday 7th May
Five Unknown Tarns
Gurnal Dubbs Revisited
A March Through The Mist
Wednesday 15th June
All The Way From Barrow
Suitable For The Guests!
Graylings In Flagrante
First Indecision Outing
The Tale of Tony's Triumph
The Gunpowder Trail
Wednesday 7th September
Four Lords a-Leaping
Thursday 15th September
Heversham Head and Mhor
Training For The Himalayas
Turn Again, Whittington
The Windermere Three Peaks
Wednesday 26th October
Erotic, Erratic, Improbable
The Princess, the King
and the Tower
The Leck Beck Trek
The Wild Wet Show
Of Mice and Men
Thursday 15th December
The Old Stink
The Castle and
Way Of The Roses
- 14th September
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see which Wainwright
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outing see Which
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been done by which BOOTboy
in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent