Return to Whittle Wanderer

Alston Moor, Nenthead Mines, Flinty Fell, Seldom Seen, Cumbria.
[ 14.8 km] Tue 04 Jul 2012

NY 7498 4216
I parked on the narrow lane off the B6277 that goes over to Nenthead. The weather was overcast as I set off but quite warm. The fell tops were shrouded in mist. I walked back along the road to Garrigill Burn and joined the path that heads up the river valley. It is also an area of workings for the old Bentyfield Mine.

Bentyfield Mine shaft capping

By the road is some new stonework which holds a stone for an information board but its not yet been fitted. A short way up the valley is a vertical mine shaft with a metal grill over the top. It is interesting looking down as the stone circular stonewalls is in excellent condition.

Bentyfield Mine shaft - a long way down!

After I reached a large stone building I turned left to head north up the fell. The moist and damp morning had made the grass and rushes very wet and higher up I had to put my leggings on. There was no foot path and the ground was very soft and soggy, making it tough going.

Trail by Garrigill Burn

I reached the OS trig post on Alston Moor as mist swirled in. A herd of longhorn highland cattle were in the field but didn’t seem interested in my presence. With no footpaths visible I had to set off following a compass bearing but the cloud soon lifted enough for me to see the fell stretching out before me.

Highlander on Alston Moor

I was heading for the top of Greengill Hush but the ground was the same soft wet spongy surface as earlier in the day making for slow progress. There were some steep gullies to cross as I was going against the grain of the terrain. At the Hush I reached my first path marker and headed out towards a large tree plantation shown on the map. When I got there all the trees had been felled but the path crossed the northern corner of the plantation diagonally. It must have been very difficult going when the trees were there. I headed for a house below which seems to be called Fiddler Street, then along the access track to the moor road over the fell. A steep downhill took me to Nenthead.

Nenthead, one of the first Model Villages.

Mine wagon

Nenthead Mine buildings

I headed up the Nenthead Mines access road and two men were kitting up with waterproofs in the car park to go underground. The mines are a museum but were closed when I got to the main buildings and seemed to be in receivership. Further up the track it was still possible to walk round the reconstructed waterwheels and crushing plant.

Carr Level, now closed.

A good track continued up Old Carr’s Burn and I soon realised why it was such a good track as a large lorry came down, presumably having been loaded from the higher Flinty Quarry.

Refurbished mine building

The gully narrowed but soon opened up as I reached higher ground on the approach to the quarry. Before reaching it I turned left on a minor green trail down to the ruin of Showside. The map shows a path continuing to Seldom Seen but there was no sign of it on the ground. It continued across bad ground and I was glad to get to the Seldom Seen building.

Seldom Seen

It was in reasonable condition and still had its roof on but no windows or door. There had been fireplaces inside so it was probably a shepherd’s hut or shooting hut.

Seldom Seen interior

The continuing path seemed to follow the line of a old leat or man-made watercourse but I left it after a while and took a more direct line down the fell side to reach the B6277 road. I then had just over a mile walk back to the car. I was lucky with the weather but shortly after finishing the walk there was a short heavy downpour.

Seen on the walk back to the car