BB1423 : The Cockpit and the Pulpit, Et Setterah

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Oh, what an idiot!  Not content with losing my gps (BB1422), when we arrived at our start point today I discovered that I hadn't brought the maps that I had so carefully prepared on the computer.  Fortunately I had my emergency Harveys 1:40k map that covers most of the area and Martin had had the sense to print off a 1:50k one of the whole area.  So although we lacked detail, we ought not get too lost.  Indeed where we were going, it would be hard to get lost even without a map.

But that's not the end of stupidity.  When I tried to take my first photo I discovered that the memory card was missing- it was still in the computer at home.  Fortunately there is a camera on my phone although it's a pain to keep having to wake the phone up and navigate to the camera. Also the picture quality is much poorer as is evident by the photos in this report (especially when viewed at full size).  

Things would get even worse later but I will pass over that for the time being.

We assembled at Askham by the outdoor public swimming pool (yes, you read that right- outdoor swimming pool- I didn't know either but it looks a good community resource).

Objective number one was the Cockpit.  First we had to climb Heughscar Hill which offers a fine view over Ullswater and beyond.  Pity my phone camera could not do it justice!

The Cockpit is a stone circle on the "High Street ROMAN ROAD (course of)".  After a bit of fiddling around and experimenting with people's smartphone maps we found it.  What its origins are, I don't know.  I suspect not a cockpit

Comitibus :  The Cockpit

Just what it says!

Objective number two was back east to Setterah.  There is little to report about it, I just wanted to link the photo from Setterah Park Barn to the title of the walk!  

Lunch stop was by the bridge over the River Lowther a little further on down a nettley Lane.  Angler Tony peered into the river.  Someone asked him what sort of fish could he see?.  A wag shouted "Whale".  And believe it or not the wag was sort of right.  It is the name of the village that could be seen across the river to which we were next heading. OK, I know a Whale is a mammal, not a fish but never let the facts get in the way of a story.

Crossing the River Lowther

The beekeeping lesson

From Whale we followed the path downstream where we found a large number of beehives.  John, being a beekeeper, was able to give Tony an introduction to the art.

On reaching Lowther Castle it was clear that a lot of renovation work is taking place. Perhaps it might soon be possible to have a closer look at this magnificent ruin than is presently the case.

I don't like the family church in the grounds.  Although it looks ok from the outside, the interior is soulless.  Fortunately no-one seemed of a mind to explore further than the rather splendid family mausoleum where the Earl of Lonsdale (I think) sits patiently.

Work in progress

Lowther Castle Church

From one church to another, this time across the river on the outskirts of Askham, St Peter's.  It has always been closed on previous visits but not so today.

St Peter's exterior.....

..... and interior

Askham is a lovely old village built around extended green open spaces.


.....Village Green

Once back at its car park I discovered two things.  

Firstly the swimming pool was now open.  

Secondly that I had been an even bigger idiot than I had thought.  There, tucked away in the bottom of my rucksac were the carefully prepared 1:25k maps that we should have been using!

Next on the agenda was Nine Kirks Church or, to give it its original name, St Ninian's Kirk (this area was once in Scotland).  It is found about a mile from anywhere along an old track that Lady Anne Clifford must have once used.  The village is long gone but the church, although decommissioned is remarkable, being more or less in the state it would have been in three centuries earlier.  Tony revelled in the closeness to her Ladyship. Whether or not you share his fascination, it is well worth a visit but do take a powerful torch with you to explore its darker crannies.

The kirk, hiding in the trees

Stuart's inside photo

By this stage the batteries on my phone had run out so my smartphone camera was dead.  Idiot. Fortunately, Stuart's phone camera was still working although neither of us captured a close up of the noteworthy triple decker pulpit.

Stuart examining a tomb

Elaborate ancient tombstone

Whilst on the path from and to the car, we encountered a swarm of small light blue butterflies (or are they moths?).  They must have have just hatched from the silken sort of meshy webs that hung from the bushes.

Stuart and I thought we had had enough history for the day so repaired to the George & Dragon at Clifton but Tony was keen to show John and Martin the Jacobite Tree under which several highlanders lie buried after the last battle on English soil just round the corner.

It is blue when its wings open!

That was enough culture for the day.  We'd seen the cockpit, the pulpit(s) et cetera.

Don Thursday 3rd July 2014

LEJOG:  Ian's Report

Martin and I have successfully completed Lands End to John o'Groats bike ride.  If you click on LEJOG you will find the story of our expedition,

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Thursday 3rd July 2014

Distance in miles

8.4 + 1.8 = 10.2

Height climbed in feet

1,035 + 210 =  1,245


Cockpit, Lowther Castle

Ninekirk Church


Don, Martin, John H, Stuart, Tony



BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1423a and bb1423b .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.


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