back to my home page

Dockray, Aira Force, Underwood, Little Mell Fell, Ulcat Row, Cumbria.
[14.3 km]  Wed 23 Oct 2019

 
Lat/Long: 54.585676, -02.940820
OS Grid ref:
NY 39296 21571
The weather was gloomy for my drive to Dockray. I passed the car parks near Aira Force which were charging £7/day and continued to Dockray and the small (free) car park by the bridge. I walked back down the road to the pay car park.

Dockray art cabin

Aira Beck
I took the well-used path down to Aira Beck and although the light was low took a photo by holding the camera on a rock. The path then took me down to the memorial stone bridge with an inscription that reads:
Memorial Bridge
Top Plaque-THIS BRIDGE WAS BUILT BY FRIENDS/ IN MEMORY OF/ STEPHEN EDWARD SPRING RICE C.B./ 1856-1902 Bottom Plaque-HE WOULD HAVE LIKED HIS BROTHER GERALD, WHO 14 YEARS AFTER HIM/ ALSO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY, TO BE COMMEMORATED ON THIS SPOT
==
Stephen Edward Spring Rice, CB (28 March 1856 – 6 September 1902) was a British civil servant and academic.
I followed the path east through the trees then out onto the fellside below the south side of Gowbarrow. It climbs steadily up and gives good views of Lyulph’s Tower below. It was built in the 1780s by Charles Howard, the 11th Duke of Norfolk, as a hunting lodge. The name comes from Lyulph, a Viking settler who is reputed to have given his name to Ulph’s Water which then became Ullswater.
Lyulph’s Tower

‘A Thank - Offering Oct 1905’

Ullswater
Higher up the path I came to the stone Memorial Bench with the inscription ‘A Thank - Offering Oct 1905’. It is in a spectacular viewing position but nobody knows anything about it. Wainwright mentions it in his Eastern Fell book but no information. Nearby is a promontory and cairn giving an even more spectacular view of Ullswater. The path then heads north to the site of the old stone shooting hut. It is shown on the map and wainwright has a drawing of it in his book but now it is just a pile of rubble.

The path turns NE through the dark Swinburn Park. I noticed a couple of stone carvings on the way called the ‘Herdwick Stones’. Apparently there are 3. At the gate I left the path and headed up the open and pathless fell to the high point above Underwood and Priest’s Crag.

Herdwick stone

Place Fell in the distance
It is a very nice grassy summit and I’m surprised the map doesn’t give it a specific name. I descended to the road, crossed over and up the path to the summit of Little Mell Fell. It is short and steep but son gives more good views.
Little Mell Fell

I descended to the west where there is a faint path to the locked gate then nothing thereafter except a faint sheep track. An old zig zag track took me down to the narrow road where I turned left and through Lowthwaite. Then by road to Ulcat Row and the track and path back to the car at Dockray where the small car park was now full.

Road to Ulcat

Royal Hotel Dockray
 
 
back to  my
home page