: Uchder Yr Wyddfa
21st May 2014
number of northern English place names have
Welsh sounding names, the consequence of
a one-time Celtic population. Perhaps
the best known such hill is Pen-y-Ghent.
brought this to mind was a combination of
noticing a signpost to another place beginning
with Pen and secondly, an unexpected link
to Snowdon. or perhaps I should say Yr Wddfa
neither Yr Wddfa nor Pen-y-Ghent was our
target for today.
Pen name we saw was Penruddock which was en-route to
our start point of Aira Force.
was not the real objective but was an interesting start
to a three hill triangle. Neither John nor I had
visited the falls for several years. Naturally we had
not expected the waterfall itself to have changed very
much but we were a little surprised to find one of the
paths blocked off by a well known Kendal-based building
firm. It transpired that a tree had fallen to
block the path to the lower bridge over two years ago
and the relevant authority had just got round to authorising
the repairs. Although we asked if we might have
a look at the damage, we were not allowed access so
had to go to the higher bridge then round the other
way to the lower bridge. No great hardship and
the falls remain a spectacular sight.
blocked steps down
Force (click picture for movie)
bridges were erected in memory of Cecil Spring Rice,
a distinguished diplomat and the writer of "I
Vow To Thee My Country."
first real objective was Gowbarrow. The traverse
around the Ullswater side of the hill provides spectacular
views over the lake to the hills beyond.
over Ullswater to Place Fell
unlike on BB0736
there was no vanishing huntsman to be seen,
possibly because the cloud had cleared and
a beautiful day was in prospect.
summit itself was reached by a short sharp
climb with the return being by the same
would proved to be something of a feature
of the day.
followed was somewhat unexpected, although
had I looked more attentively at the map,
perhaps it ought not be a surprise.
and Little Mell from Gowbarrow
was a long section through a pleasantly wooded area,
emerging eventually close by Watermillock Church.
thought a detour to visit the church, All Saints, would
be worthwhile- it has an interesting octagonal spire
on top of a rather squat base. We asked an emerging
lady to tell us a little about the church but she told
us to speak to the man inside who would tell us ALL
entering, we met him emerging from the vestry so, forewarned,
I asked him for the three most interesting things about
the church. We soon understood what the lady had
meant. Half way through his life story we realised
that we would have to make an excuse and leave else
we would be there until closing time- I mean the pub's
not the church's!
Saints Church, Watermillock
16th century chest
did get chance to look at a window that I thought looked
rather pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jonesish. Good deduction;
it is by Harry Powell of Whitefriars, a firm that had
a close association with BJ. It is called the Spring
Rice window after the above mentioned family.
was also a sixteenth century chest with three locks,
one for the vicar and one for each church warden. Sounds
like they didn't trust each other!
number two was Little Mell, the access to which was
only a short distance away. Another up and down
(although by a different route to the same path)
but again with fine panoramic views.
back from Little Mell to Place Fell and the Kirkstone
was ticking away and John was getting hungry. He
didn't do a Tony- there was no sit down protest- but
by the time we had rounded the base of Little Mell and
found a convenient bench by a derelict farm, I relented
and allowed him to have half his lunch. Well,
we still had another hill to climb and it's not good
to be going up on a full stomach.
coated Little Mell
wooded Great Mell
across the valley, Great Mell awaited us, lightly wooded
on the lower slopes and offering, from the summit, a
prospectus for the imminent sale of Blancathra.
swept upper Great Mell
sale, one hill
we didn't want to take Stan's vertical descent as per
it was the same pattern as before. Reminiscent
of the Grand Old Duke of York.
were now some distance from the car and John was wondering
when he would be allowed the second part of his lunch.
The answer was at Matterdale church at which we
arrived to find a bench in the sun at 5:30 p.m.! This
is a simple small church which was presumably built
around 1573 as that date is carved into a beam along
which the initials of several now unknown people.
kind folk of Dockray have provided an attractive
footpath that accompanies the road down
to the village but thereafter was to be
a tarmac slog back to the car.
was a rather later finish than usual but
rounded off in the traditional way at the
Brackenrigg Inn where they had a variety
of drinks by different brewers of which
I had never heard.
they appear to be marketed under the Independent
Lakeland Breweries banner. Sensibly, the
pub has bats for three one-third of a pint
on, a minute, I hear you thinking. What was all
that about Yr Wddfa or Snowdon?
simply, the total footage climbed today was Uchder
The height of Snowdon: 3,560 feet.
a iechyd da!
22nd May 2014
21st May 2014
climbed in feet
Little Mell, Great Mell
Don, John Hn
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1418 .
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
- although it may not be that up to date - see: Which
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
Likewise written comment.
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