BB1316 : How Natavi Discovered Treacle

Thursday 2nd May 2013

Once upon a time, in a land not very far away, lived a boy called Natavi.  

One day, whilst walking his dog across a field, Natavi discovered a small hole in the ground.  He put his head into the hole and saw that it led to a big cave.  Natavi crawled in and could not believe his eyes.  He was amazed at what he could see  The cave was covered with the greatest of delights.  Not diamonds.  Not gold.  Not jewels nor precious metals. Something much more interesting.  Treacle.

Natavi rushed home to tell the villagers of his discovery.  Many disbelieved his story so followed him to the cave to see the treasure for themselves.  They were converted.

Together, they mined the treacle and became very rich.  As a thank you, they named the village after the boy- Nataviland.

Eons later, the name of the village has become corrupted to Natland and, sadly, the location of the treacle mine has been forgotten.  Many theories have been put forward. Many explorers have tried to find it.  Many trails have proved false.  

Today, I offered to show Mike a possible location of the Natland Treacle Mine.

However, so as not to excite him too much too soon, I first took him on a tour of the area to the rear of Helm, the hill that overlooks Nataviland.

Nataviland from Helm

We set off along the disused canal tow path past Sedgwick then climbed east to a seat with a great view of Helm and the distant Lakeland Hills.

The tow path

Sedgwick Hall

Helm, from above Sedgwick

Once across the railway (a great place for spotting steamers on Saturdays), we turned north east to Crosscrake school then church to reach the A65.

The minor road on the other side led us to Stang and the crossing of Saint Sunday's beck.  This we followed northwards through the bluebell (not that they are currently to be seen) woods before bending east to Low Bleaze and Old Hutton.

There is a BOOTboys maxim that if you want a good place to sit in the sunshine for your lunch then find a churchyard so that is what I confidently proposed to Mike.  Sadly, however, the only seat in the sun at St John Baptist's Church was in such a bad state that if Mike's large frame had been placed thereon, firewood is all for which it would then be suitable.  

The church itself is a tribute to Victorian craftsmen.

St John's aisle,.....

..... organ pipes

..... ceiling and .....

Comitibus :  Old Hutton

After turning back to the west, we saw a field with what Mike thought was a windsock. He was right.  Tucked away in a barn at Bleaze Hall was a light aircraft.  No doubt James will be able to identify it.

Name that plane

Bleaze Hall

Bleaze Hall is a 15th century Grade II* listed building with many features.  It used to be open to the public a day or two per year. Whether that is still a requirement I don't know but I do know that it was for sale not too long ago and clicking on the link, above, will produce the sale brochure showing the details of this fine old building.

Thereafter, we passed the Thirlmere pipeline inspection covers then made our way up and over to Underhelm Farm and onto Helm itself.  The view of the Lake District, and indeed in all other directions, is, from here. superb.

Pipeline inspection covers

A pretty calf

Helm panorama

The naughty biker rides away

What was less superb was the sight of a parked motorbike.

Bikes are not allowed on Helm.  

What was the individual doing there?

Helm has in the past been badly damaged by illegal use of vehicles and, whilst I am not suggesting that the rider had such a result in mind, it is of concern.

The summit itself is believed to have been an iron age form and the outlines of the defence layers can be seen.

Helm summit

After summiting, I took Mike to a likely source of the Treacle Mine mystery.  On the side of Helm is to be found the remains of a small quarry where, on the ground, can be found small slabs of substances that look remarkably like blocks of toffee.

The treacle mine

Mike tries a bite

On the way back to   Nat(avi)and, I told Mike about the system of caves under the village.

However, no one knows, despite dye having been put into the various sink holes to try to establish the route, how the water running off Helm finds its way to the River Kent.

As we dropped down into the village, I pointed out a couple of houses seemingly built out of Natland treacle.

A treacle house

A plate of Natland Treacle

But is that the truth behind the Natavi legend?

See Natland Treacle Mines and judge for yourself.

Don, 2nd May 2013

BB1315 Correction

I was wrong in what I said in BB1315 about Tony running.  

He has run once previously, back in 2007 on Steel Fell.

See BB0705 for the evidence.

Competition Results

Last week's Who and Where Competion caused some controversy.  The identity of the be-anoraked person on the left is vehemently denied by the sinister looking person on the right to be him.

I still think it's Pete McL.  How about you?

No progress was made about identifying the ladies but Graham W produced typically precise identification of the location of the two pictures with views.

The male photo looks like Patterdale, somewhere above the valley on the west side of the road (see Lanty's tarn area) looking across to Boardale Hause, with Place Fell being the large fell rising out of the photo on the left. I've checked the wall system in the photo with that shown on the 25,000 map, and it fits. The surprising thing is how un-eroded the two main tracks up to the hause were in those days.

The female group photo is taken from above the summit of the Blea Tarn road looking towards Lingmoor Fell/ Mart Crag and shows the very steep track up that leads off from Bleatarn House.

I can't argue with that, Graham, so the prize is yours (your choice: a bottle of cheapish wine or several cans of out of date lager left over from Emma's wedding).




Thursday 2nd May

Distance in miles:

10.3 (Garmin gps)

Height climbed in feet:

1,167   (Memory Map / OS)



Other Features:

Helm, Treacle Mine


Don, Mike

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1316

To discover 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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