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Stonethwaite, St Andrew's Church, The Combe Corn Mill, Strands Bridge, Cumbria.
[4.5 km]  Wed 20 Feb 2019

Lat/Long: 54.515088, -03.143919
OS Grid ref: NY 26043 13912
Headed north along a windy M6 to Penrith then west to Keswick and south to Borrowdale. I drove down the lane to Stonethwaite and parked shortly after the school. The forecast was for rain but there hadnít been much on the drive. As I set off the rain began but not too heavy.

St Andrew's Churchyard
I returned along the lane then turned left to St Andrews graveyard where I went in through the side gate. The last time I was here I missed the grave of Bob Graham so this time I made sure I found it and spent a few moments reflecting on the amazing fell Runner. His name still lives on with the famous Fell Race the ĎBob Graham Roundí which is 42 Peaks 130 miles which competitors try and do in under 24 hours.

Grave of Bob Graham

To the Memory of Bob Graham
I left the graveyard and headed through the farmyard to follow the wet path at the base of the fell. I was going the opposite way a week ago when I returned from a walk along the same path. This time I wanted to return to an old Corn Mill which I visited 11 years ago.
Over the door a plaque reads:
This mill used to grind the corn grown in the valley. It is mentioned in a will of 1727 and the wheel probably dates from about 1800. Please do not damage it.

The Old Corn Mill

Plaque over the door

The Waterwheel
It was pouring with rain when I arrived and it was uncomfortable hanging around trying to take photos without getting the camera too wet. Round the back at the river side was a water wheel which may be a replica of the original. The building was locked and it looked as though someone had been using it as a bothy and trying to repair it as building equipment and materials were piled around. At the front door were two millstones set in the floor and one being used as a step. Millican Dalton (1867Ė1947) the self-styled "Professor of Adventure" used to live in a cave not too far away and during his climbing exploits around 1914 on Dove Crag he is supposed to have stayed in this corn mill. There is a photo of him supposedly by the mill but the stonework didnít match so I am doubtful about the location.
Millstone as a step
My original plan was to head up the Coombe and climb up the gully by Dovenest Crag. However the weather was extremely bad with curtains of rain blowing down the valley making the going very difficult. I soon realised it would be folly to continue as the rain and wind would make it far too dangerous higher up. I decided to continue up the valley to a point where I could safely cross Combe Gill which was in spate due to the rain. I climbed above a series of waterfalls to higher ground and wandered down to the riverside. There was nowhere safe to cross but fortunately a tree had gone over at some time in the past and it was relatively straightforward to half shuffle across and half tiptoe.
My river crossing
I reached the far side without difficulty but then climbed over a post and wire fence and up a steep bank towards the path. The annoying thing was a new post and wire fence had been erected by the path and the top line of wire was barbed. I hate barbed wire. I managed to climb it without incident. I was now on the main path and followed it down to the lane and Strands Bridge. I was now on the road and had difficulty walking without constantly having to step by the flooded route of the footpath. I reached the deserted campsite and crossed it through to the farmyard passing St Andrew's Church on my way back to the car. It was very early so I drove to Grange Bridge to have a look in the church which had a display of some interesting old photographs.

One of the photos displayed in the Grange Bridge Church