: Appleby Castle At Last
26th June 2014
Anne Clifford has enjoyed no more devoted follower than
Tony. Until today, he had visited virtually all
her dwellings bar one. For some years, Appleby
Castle has frustrated him due to it being out of bounds.
However, we are delighted to report that it has
now re-opened to the public. It was time for Tony
to complete the survey of her property portfolio.
however, we had a more normal BOOTboys
activity to undertake. After parking in Appleby,
Mike, Tony and I headed off along the river then turned
southish across fields and nettle traps towards Bandley
Bridge where we met and crossed Hoff Beck. This
we followed south for quite some distance. I thought
it a little sad that we were on the opposite side of
the river to a place intriguingly marked on the map
as Cuddling Hole. There again, looking at my companions,
perhaps it was just as well!
makes a new friend
Inn at Hoff
we reached Hoff where the pub, which was closed and
in a poor state last time I passed, had been renovated
and re-opened. It looked attractive but it was
far too early to stop. Instead, we continued south
along the beck until we reached Rutter Mill and Rutter
Force and Mill
It has been quite dry lately so the force
was not as dramatic as I have seen it previously but
still an attractive site. We crossed the beck
by the ford. Although the water level was quite
low, the concrete was covered with slimey weed making
it quite slippery. I had my camera at the ready but
neither Mike or Tony obliged with a tumble.
the mill cottages was what I first took to be a kiddies'
plaything but was then identified as a twitcher's tent,
having a protrusion to accommodate a long telephoto
lens. We then deduced that it probably belonged to the
spotter we had spotted earlier along the beck.
not hiding Spotter'
look down on him..........
was soon amazed that we stopped for lunch in a field
way before noon. Often he protests nearly as much
if we stop too soon as if we stop too late but, as he
had had an early start, he was delighted.
other hand, I was not delighted. This is where I discovered that when we
had passed along the nettley and brambly path, the branches
tugging at my clothes had also attacked my rucksack,
cutting through the plastic cord that was supposed to
secure my gps safely and it was now lost.
I weep or regard it as an opportunity to buy a new,
feature was Great Ormside, a smart hamlet with a very
old church, St
to St James'
return to Appleby was alongside the River Eden, although
trees and vegetation restricted the view of the river. Not
completely, however, and Tony was able to engage a fisherman
in a heated debate about the relative merits of course
and game fish.
reaching the town, Tony told us how Lady Anne had built
her own mill to ensure that her people could have access
to such facilities. He wondered if the mill by
the river bridge was the one but I think it was a later
construction. We then climbed up past an attractive
looking but seemingly no longer named church where the
grass was being strimmed. On examination if became
clear that it was closed, having ceased to function.
down into the town, there is a sandstone cliff with
what looked like a cave that had been converted to a
storage shed. It reminded me of the sandstone
caves in Stockport that were used as air raid shelters
crossing the bridge we entered St
where Tony led us to pay homage at the tombs of Lady
Anne and her mother (although he first took us to see
his other loves in the motorbike garage)
Lawrence's across the river
Lawrence's main entrance
Anne's mother Margaret's tomb
pays homage to Lady Anne
was now mid afternoon and the sun was shining so the
temptation to stay awhile at a table outside the Hard
was too great to resist.
appointment at the castle was for 4 p.m. but first we
had to visit Lady Anne's Alms Houses. These are
still operational for the sole occupancy of one women
per dwelling. There is also a small chapel which the
warden showed us round.
at the castle, we encountered a lady who was also booked
on the tour. It turned out that she was German,
lived in Munich and worked in Heidhausen which is quite
a coincidence as that is where daughter Emma currently
lives (but not for much longer). Small world.
were shown round the grounds where we were permitted
to take photos then inside the castle where we were
outside includes a small building, the Bee House, where
Lady Anne could sit and look over the river. The castle
has moats and the main door is situated strategically
above the river making attack by battering ram nigh
impossible. Even if attackers managed to cross
the two ditches and breach the walls, the keep was big
enough and stout enough to house the household and sufficient
animals to survive a siege of several week.
to Appleby Castle
view of the castle
sit where she sat
the keep is currently scaffolded and is no longer safe
due to subsidence so, unlike back in the 1980s, is not
open to the public.
Princess Ann visit
Margaret, Jamie & Emma
inside of the castle is still a restoration work in
progress but we saw many interesting features including
medieval halls and bedrooms. Little of the furniture
is original as various owners have had to sell off much
of the contents to pay for death duties and divorces.
However, great effort has been made to acquire fixtures
and fittings of the appropriate era so the feeling of
onto a rope with both hands as instructed, we climbed
an exciting spiral staircase to a tower room then descended
similarly to a cellar, nearly treading on a hedgehog
on one of the lower steps. Old Spiney had presumably
crawled in from the escape tunnel and was unable to
find his way out.
visit ended in a very civilised British way with tea
and cakes, courtesy of the castle.
is a very interesting building, particularly in respect
of the period up to and including Lady Anne's time.
Mike (who is a hotelier) and guide Peter Bass
had a long discussion about how best to use the premises
as a wedding venue and other potentially profitable
opportunities. The cost of restoration and maintenance
must be huge and it is understandable that the owner
is seeking ways to use it to commercial advantage.
would have been nice to have had the chance to take
photos inside the castle, especially to have one of
Tony sitting in Lady Anne's personal chair but our very
knowledgeable and informative guide agreed that I could
use for this report pictures from the Appleby
Thank you, Peter.
the visit, Tony declared that he had now exhausted his
fixation with Lady Anne. However, on the way home he
remembered that there is another local place with connections
to her that he must visit- Dalemain
near Penrith. Watch this space!
26th June 2014
reproduced with kind permission © Appleby Castle
more about Lady Anne Clifford see:
completed more than half of their Land's
End to John o'Groats bike ride in aid of
Beating Bowel Cancer. Ian and Martin arrived in Kendal
last Monday night. Here they are relaxing
at the Brewery, clearly in good shape and
spirits despite their heroic efforts!
an update of their progress, have a look
at Ian's blog.
you would like to recognised their achievement
by contributing to Beating Bowel Cancer, visit
Ian & Martin's page at Just Giving.
Kast of Two Plus a Dog
has the BBC got against Crete?
last week, they were forecasting heavy rain when every
other forecasting agency correctly predicted zero precipitation.
one such day. with temperature easing in the evening
from a noon 36º, the BOOTboys
International Division ventured forth to explore a pass
over the Kastamonitsa mountain range near Kasteli.
looks in amazement at where we are going
(Jamie and I plus Poppy the dog) parked by a wall which
is a remnant of a Roman Aquaduct then dropped down to
find the E4, one of the long distance European footpaths,
this one running along the length of Crete.
following it for a short while, we branched off up the
pass. These days it is a wide track that is obviously
used for 4x4 tours although we saw no such vehicles.
In the olden days, pre-widening, it could have
been rather scary in parts as the drops as it zig-zags
up the hill are quite fearsome.
the Roman Wall
the distance we could see the new, as yet unfilled,
reservoir for Heraklion and, more clearly, the huge
Cretan Military airfield which, before the money ran
out, was being touted as the new international airport
for Heraklion. How popular it would have proved
for holiday makers is uncertain as it is some 30 miles
out of Heraklion and reached by fairly narrow and winding,
albeit well-surfaced roads.
reached the highest point of the track that overlooks
the valley and taken in the view, we retraced our steps
back to the car to return home in time for a glorious
cloud free Mediterranean sunset.
the unusual plant pot spotted en-route.
the unusual plant pot
26th June 2014
climbed in feet
Force, Great Ormside,
Alms Houses and Castle
Don, Mike, Tony
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1422 .
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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