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South Stainmore, Low Dowgill, Thorney Gale trig post, Cumbria.
[11.0 km]  Wed 25 Jan 2017

OS Grid ref: NY 83768 12381
Lat/Long: 54.506480, -02.252187

Had relatively quiet drive north along the M6 then left at Tebay to head east. My parked my car at South Stainmore by a lane near a stream. I set off northeast and my first objective was to visit a church shown on them map of. When I arrived there was no name sign for the church but fortunately it was open and inside the name St. Stephen's Church Stainmore was on the wall.

St Stephen's Church Stainmore
Inside was a font and very simple church interior but thankfully still used. The building had quite a large bell tower which looked out of place in relation to the rest of the church. Behind the church was another building which looks as though it could have been a school at one time but I'm not sure what its current use is.

St Stephen's Church later in the day

St. Stephen's Church

St. Stephen's Church
Further up the road was Warren Field barn a recently upgraded building looking like a very nice house and in the field adjacent was a weather station consisting of a louvered box which is visited frequently judging by the worn grass.
St. Stephen's Church
Adjacent was a traditional rain gauge cylinder and next to that a sunshine monitoring glass globe which is mounted on a metal plinth and looks rather old. It is a Campbell–Stokes recorder (sometimes called a Stokes sphere). It works by burning a trace onto a piece of paper. The sun monitoring globe has to be in the open to work but it would probably have been better sited behind the house and not adjacent to the road. I left the road and headed north down across fields towards Argill Beck and a Footbridge.
Campbell–Stokes recorder

Red Squirrel

Sign near my car
The fields were extremely wet in places and with footbridges I'm always unsure whether they exist or not. I reached a steep descent which took me down to the river and was pleasantly surprised to see a substantial stone bridge across. It was similar construction to an ancient pack horse bridge but seemed much newer with stone blockers at both sides to only allow pedestrians across.
Stone bridge

View from the path
Over the river there was a sign saying Argill Nature reserve. Up from the Bridge was a wooden information board and details about Argyll Woods nature reserve. Climbing out of the deep valley and up on to open fields I could see the main A66 trunk road ahead, the Trans Pennine Road which was busy with heavy lorries. I reached Low Dowgill Farm which was being extensively refurbished and the outbuildings rebuilt. There were some path signs by the first gate but they were bleached almost illegible. I followed where the path should have gone but in the absence of any path markers I had to cross a deep ravine as best I could. I climbed the far side and and across fields where there were occasional path markers until I reach the Farmhouse of Gillbank. There was a very slippery stile which I crossed and I then emerged into the old farmyard of the buildings. There was a lady there and I asked if the footpath continued through her yard and through the adjacent gate. She said a footpath continued across the fields to so I followed it to Dike House where I turned left to try and find another path continuing down the south Bank of the river. There was no style in the fence so I climbed over and descending to a very old wooden footbridge. It was in a rotten state so I stepped across the stream and tried to find the footpath. The ground was extremely muddy and I could see no sign of it so decided to change my route and climb up the slippery bank to find another path in the field. One pleasant bonus was to see a lovely red squirrel not seeming to mind my presents. Up on the fields I continued on to Cragg House where I saw more footpath markers taking me into the old farmyard. It is a private house and no longer a farm.
The path crosses past the buildings to the north and then across wet fields to Thorney Gale Farm. The access track between the walls was extremely wet and muddy but when I emerged into the farmyard where the farmer was there with a wheelbarrow. I stopped briefly at the main farmhouse to take a photo as it was quite impressive. After this I wanted to head west along a footpath but there were no path markers anywhere.
Thorny Gale Farm

Approaching Thorny Gale trig post (on the right)

Thorny Gale

Thorny Gale
I continued along muddy track through the fields heading slightly upwards towards the trig post which I could see on the hill ahead. At 10:55 a.m. I reached the trig post which is a Ordnance Survey points and is the last one to have observations taken from it. There is a plaque which reads:
Ordnance Survey Thorney Gill the last observations for the retriangulation of Great Britain were made at this trigonometrical station by Mrs AP Joyce on the 4th of June 1962 there are 11,678 such stations and the first observations were made at Cold Ashby in Northamptonshire on 18th of April 1936.
The post is not quite at the highest point and it is interesting to note that the Ordnance Survey map calls the hill Limes Head.

The Slip Inn
I continued to the east to try and find a crossing point over the wall and onto the narrow lane. There were no gates but as I walked along the wall I found a low point where I could step across. The weather continued fine and I headed west along the narrow lane which was enjoyable to walk on as there was little traffic. I reached the B road then turned left and continued over Argyll Bridge and then up to the Slip Inn which is no longer a public house but a private dwelling. Along the road I turn left back onto the narrow lane where I parked my car. As I drove home I revisited the South Stanmore Church as the light was no much better. I was able to get some better interior photographs.
Slip Cottage 1858