BB2132 : Akay and the Pepperpot

Thursday 2nd September 2021

According to David Olusoga in this week's Radio TImes:

Houses make better history
than tales of kings and queens

That was certainly true of our short outing today.

Parking at the Millthrop bridge over the River Rawthey at Sedbergh, we went in search of Akay House.  Or what remains of it.  There is not a lot to see apart from one notable feature.

The Georgian house had been rather grand.  

It was built in the 1820s by James Upton, son of the owner of Millthrop Mill.

Then in 1893 Charles Edward Taylor, a local chemist, bought the house and more land.  

Ten years later he developed it into a large mansion that incorporated the old house.

He died in 1924, after which the house was abandoned and deteriorated.

In 1936, Sedbergh School bought the house including the outbuildings, grounds including cricket field, and woodland. The school governors subsequently decided the house should be demolished.

All that we could find were two garden archways that they didn't photo very well and parts off the tiled floor which did.  And we found the notable feature.  

The Pepperpot

The Pepperpot had been abandoned and at one time was occupied by cows, upstairs and downstairs.  This was featured in the Westmorland Gazette in 1948.

It had originally been built as part of the grand development  Local legend has it that it was used as isolation quarters for Taylor's daughter though others belive that it was a sort of fine picnic palace.

Today, the building has been renovated thanks to grant form the Heritage Lottery fund and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority on the understanding that is should be available for use by the local community.  

It certainly is impressive and stands in a elevated position with open views of the local fells.

Other than the railway bridge, there were no other structures of great interest for some distance.

It was a pleasant walk along the River Rawthey (sadly no access from path to the lovely old Quaker Church) then across fields and road to the River Lune where the Howgills lay ahead.

It was upstream where stands the next feature of architectural note.  Not a house but the Waterside railway viaduct that used to carry the trains from Clapham to Tebay and presumably back again.  Sadly it is no longer in action thanks, probably, to Dr Beeching.

A little higher I was able to take a bonus picture for Margaret!

We walked back along Howgill Lane towards Sedbergh then down a steep path to Sedbergh School where rugby practice was in full swing.  

In town there are more fine buildings.  Not just those of the School but also Sedbergh Church, the Old School House then down to the river passing the very fine Old Vicarage. Vicars certainly used to know how to live well!  But perhaps not quite as well as at Akay.

Don, Thursday 2nd September 2021

Comitibus: Don, TV Mike, Tony, Mike B

Bonus Pictures from Tony




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BB2132 : Akay and the Pepperpot


Thursday 2nd September


Akay, Rivers Rawthey & Lune


Don, Mike B, TV Mike, Tony

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (MM):


GPX track


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