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Loweswater, Low Fell, Fellbarrow, Hatteringhill, Mosser Mains, Cumbria.
[16.8 km]  Fri 08 Sep 2017

 OS Grid ref: NY 14302 21108
54.577894, -03.327318

I parked on a piece of spare land by the red telephone box near the Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater. Its 5 years since I parked here to start a walk and today Iím heading for the same general area of Fellbarrow to the north. I set off walking north west along the narrow lane towards Loweswater. The first large building on the left was the Village Hall which used to be the School.

The former school is now the Village Hall
At Crabtree Farm building there were builders vans parked and men working on refurbishing the stone buildings. A short way further on I came to the old Pinfold enclosure.
Crabtree Farm refurbishment
Beware the Pinder.
If your livestock were found somewhere they shouldn't be, this enclosure was bad news.
This is the Pinfold, from the Old Norses pin (to seize) and fold (enclosure). Animals that escaped, grazed common land when their owners had no commonrs' rights, or got out of control on their way to market, were put on 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". Loweswater records contain reports on the pinfold from as early as 1655.

Beware the Pinder
When I descended from Darling Fell 5 years ago I reached the road a little further on. Today I am going up the fell and decided to reverse the route up. I climbed a low gate and walked up through the trees towards open fell side. My notes said there was no fence where the trees ended. Unfortunately a new barbed wire fence had been erected during the intervening years and I had to climb over it.
An easy walk through the trees
The fell side above was deep ferns and higher up impenetrable gorse. I had to follow the fence east to be able to continue. The tees and fence then headed up the west side of Crabtree beck so I had no choice but to follow it up to make progress. Eventually I reached open ground but it was very wet and still some patches of painful gorse. Thankfully I reached a fence line and stile and a path running east and up towards the first summit of the day.
Crabtree Beck
The nearest name on the map is Loweswater Fell and it is the highest point of the southern end of the range at 412m. Fellbarrow to the north is only just a bit higher at 416m. It was still cloudy but some patches of distant sun shone through but became quite windy as I got higher. I didnít stay on the summit long. I took some photos then followed the path north to Low Fell.
Low Fell summit

Crummock Water from Low Fell

I picked up a substantial track but soon left it to follow a minor path along the fence to the left to the summit of Sourfoot Fell. A steep descent to the north took me down to a wall where I found enough shelter from the wind to have my sandwiches for lunch. Over Smithy Fell I reached Fellbarrow and the summit trig post

Fellbarrow trig post

The weather had cleared and I got a good all round view. I followed the fence down to the north towards Hatteringhill Head but before reaching the summit turned right to follow the fence down to the ruins of Hatteringhill Farm.

atteringhill Farm ruin

There is nothing left but the rubble outline of the buildings. I headed north along the original farm access track which was very rutted and wet in places. I reached the main track and turned left along the unsurfaced route to where a path signpost points left across the fields. There were some sheep pens and an old railway good carriage as a store cabin.

Railway goods carriage

There are many of these around the countryside. I set off to follow the path but it was extremely wet in places after the recent heavy rain. I was glad to reach to track to Fellside Farm that goes down by a dark avenue of trees. After the farm the track goes through open countryside and the latter part has has been surfaced with concrete.

Mosser Beck sign posts
A steep descent took me down to Mosser Beck, over the bridge and into the small collection of farm and house buildings called Mosser Mains. I took the left branch in the road and headed up to High Mosser. It is a dead end to traffic but a bridleway through route.
Descending to the road
After the last house I was on a rough track with bits of tarmac. Over the high point near Whittern Gill the track deteriorated considerably and would only be passable by a tractor. It started to rain as I descended to join the road by Loweswater. Fortunately there was little traffic but quite a few cyclist. The rain eased but started again as I got back to the car.
Fungi in the woods

Mellbreak to Loweswater