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Sedbergh, River Dee, Barth Bridge, Frostrow Fells, Cumbria..
[16.2 km]  Wed 04 Jan 2017

OS Grid ref: SD 65889 92080
Lat/Long: 54.323151, -02.525939

I
found a parking place in Sedbergh so started my walk there. My drive to the start was fairly short so I was able to start walking earlier than usual. It was dark when I set off but by the time I’d reached Millthrop it was light. I soon left the road to head up a rough track up towards Archers Hall. This is part of the ‘Dales Way’ walk that I did many years ago.

Early morning view of Lupton House
The track continued up to a grassy way which was good underfoot at the start but soon became very wet and muddy. After passing Gap Woods I came to a very muddy track by a farm then on to Gap lane and down to the Dent Road. There was an interesting wooden door in the track wall. It is a side entrance to the large property of Gate Manor.

Side entrance to Gate Manor
Across the road I followed the narrow track to the River Dee and a footbridge. The map shows it as a ford but thankfully there is now a footbridge with a plaque on it saying Brackensgill Bridge 1999.
Brackensgill Bridge 1999
I re-joined the road where there was still a lot of standing water in places so I was glad the temperature was a few degrees above freezing and not below like last week. One disadvantage of being in the valley bottom is the sun not reaching me, even though I could see it up on the fell sides.
Bull in a field

Trees by the River Dee

The same view altered with software
I continued along the path by the River Dee then followed a sign pointing down to the river’s edge. It was quite muddy buy some short stretches had been cobbled.
Image on a footbridge
Further along the river bank I reached Barth Bridge where I crossed the river to the north side but instead of continuing along my planned route up the narrow lane onto the higher fells I decided to make a detour along the main road to investigate a ‘Mon’ (Monument) sign shown on the map. I’m glad I did because the stone monument was to Lucy Elam and reads. The Historic England website site describes it as ‘Roadside monument. 1876. Commemorates Lucy Elam, benefactress who provided for road improvement at this site. Dressed granite, with polished lettered plaque. Rectangular. Plain rectangular block with plinth of 2 chamfered steps and chunky cornice in similar style.
Cobbles by the river
HISTORICAL NOTE: diversion of the road on a level gradient replaced a section of steep and winding track higher up the hill.’
And reads:
“THIS STONE IS ERECTED / BY THE LANDOWNERS AND INHABITANTS OF DENT / IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO / LUCY ELAM / AT WHOSE SOLE CHARGE / THIS DEVIATION ROAD 1122 YARDS IN LENGTH / WAS MADE A.D. 1876 / IN FILIAL LOVE AND REMEMBRANCE / AND TO FULFIL THE WISHES OF HER FATHER / JOHN ELAM”

Lucy Elam memorial
I returned to Barth Bridge then up the narrow lane to the north to where it ends at Lunds Farm. Through the muddy farmyard the path goes through a couple of gates and up a muddy track between walls. I continued up to the open Frostrow Fells and headed North West back towards Sedbergh.
Bridge under the road

Lunds Farm

Near Lunds Farm

Sedbergh left and Howgill Fells behind
The weather was fine and clear and I had great views of the Howgill Fells. In places the path was horribly wet and really needs boards to make it passable. I reached the road at High Hollins and followed it to the A684 and back into Sedbergh. I stopped briefly at Westwood Books and had a brief look inside then back to the car.

Westwood Books

Westwood Books

Welcome to Sedbergh

Lupton House in the sunshine