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Loweswater, Low Lorton, Fellbarrow, Low Fell, Cumbria
[ 15.2 km] Wed 25 Apr 2012

NY 1430 2112
Drove to Loweswater and parked on the small area of spare ground by the telephone box. I’d decided to re-visit Low Fell as it’s been a very long time since I last climbed it. Checking my diary I saw that it was in Jan 2003, over 9 years ago. I left the road and headed north along a green path across a couple of fields up to the minor road at Foulsyke.

Grasmoor, Crummock Water and Mellbreak

I turned right and enjoyed the quiet road as I wandered north. A nice clean sign welcomed me to Thackthwaite. This is where I started my walk 9 years ago as a path heads directly up to Low Fell. Today’s plan is to explore some of the fells to the north so I continued along the road to the wonderfully named Blindbothel area. To my right was a very clean looking Lorton Low Bridge. The original stone bridge was completely washed away in the 2009 floods and was rebuilt in steel and stone at a cost of £250,000.


Tulips by the road


The new Lorton Low Bridge

Lorton Low Bridge after being washed away

A stone built in to the wall says:
Lorton Low Bridge Built 1843
Destroyed by Flooding
19th November 2009
Rebuilt November 2010

I left the bridge and headed up the lane to the west. A left fork took me steeply up to ‘High Bank’ and ‘The Brow’ buildings where the tarmac ends and a stone track continues. Approaching the top of the rise are nice views out to the north. I turned left on to a narrower and rather wet track which headed out towards Whin Fell. Its route was to the east of the fell so I had to head up open fields to get to the summit. The sky was still overcast and the calm conditions I had on the road were now changing to a strong easterly wind. The summit has two names on the map; Hatteringill Head, presumably the summit area, and Whin Fell for the rest of the area. Because of the wind I didn’t hang around but descended to a wooden stile over a wall down to the south. A good path took me to the summit of Fellbarrow and the Ordnance Survey trig pillar.

Fellbarrow trig column

The map shows it at 416m but looking to the south is the higher fell of Low Fell at 423m, which doesn’t have a trig pillar. I headed down the southern descent but soon had to make a quick detour as my map was blown out of my pocket and headed off to the west at high speed. Fortunately there was a sheltered dip in the fell and my map came to rest there, just long enough for me to retrieve it. To my left I could see the substantial track coming up from Thackthwaite and the path I was on joined it at Watching Crag.


As I walked over Low Fell I got quite a battering from the wind so at the southernmost summit I started my descent to the west and Crabtree Beck though the path continued SE. My choice of route proved the right one as I was soon out of the wind and able to enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately the low cloud and hazy views meant I couldn’t see all that much. I investigated a stone sheepfold then continued down though some gorse and across open fell to some pine woodland. There was no fence and I was able to wander easily down to the road.

Old sheepfold with Mellbreak in the distance

By the road was an interesting notice with information about the adjacent Pinfold. It reads:
This is the Pinfold, from the Old Norse 'pin' (to seize) and 'fold' (enclosure). Animals that escaped, grazed common land when their owner had no commoners' rights, or got out of control on the way to market, were put in the pinfold by the Pinder, a local constable. To get them back, you paid a fine.
In southern England, enclosures were called 'pounds' from the Anglo-Saxon 'pund.' We still use the term in the word 'impounded'.

I was back on the road but with no footpath and much more traffic I had to be careful as I wandered along. I got back to the car at just the right time as I started to rain.

The old Pinfold