Lat/Long: 54.806448, -02.767193
OS Grid Ref: NY 50785 46001
Late morning put walking gear in the car and set off to drive to
Armathwaite. This is my first walk in Cumbria for around 10
weeks. It was a lovely drive north along the M6 motorway and it
was great to see the Howgill Fells in the sunshine. It was quite
warm when I reached Armathwaite Bridge and was surprised how
many cars were parked. When I've been here previously there has
rarely been more than one car.
Track by the River Eden.
My original plan was to come here tomorrow but rain is forecast
and I wanted to walk along the river Eden while the level was
still very low.
I have walked here previously to try and find the face carvings
in the sandstone cliffs to the south of the bridge. The high
river levels have always prevented me from getting for enough. I
doubt the level will be lower than today so I've come here this
afternoon. It was quite warm as I walked along the tree shrouded
track heading south towards the ruins of the Old Mill or Boat
House. I left the main path and descended the minor track down
to the ruins.
The continuing path is not obvious but it follows the base of
the cliffs by the river’s edge. I reached the furthest point I
got to the last time I was here and thankfully I was able to
continue further. I had a GPX track on my Garmin that I found on
the internet. It is supposed to show the way to the carvings. I
soon reached the point shown by the track but there was nothing.
The way ahead was straight forward so I continued and eventually
came round a left hand corner into an alcove and suddenly in
front of me was the text carving and date 1855.
Isaac Walton's Compleat Angler published 1653
Directly below it it was one of the familiar carved faces I had
seen online. To the right were two more carved faces and I
enjoyed taking many photographs trying to capture the mood.
There are five heads, between them is a carved salmon and above
them are some lines of poetry from Isaac Walton's Compleat
Angler. All carved in soft sandstone and presumably done by
William Mounsey. Letters carved in reverse are typical for
William Henry Mounsey (1808–77) was a British army
officer, local scholar, traveller and antiquarian with an
interest in Persia and Jewish culture. Further examples of his
work can be seen at the Caves of St.Constantine at Wetheral and
on the Jew Stone at Mallerstang Dale.
carvings are loated at lat/lon: 54.799646, -02.772227
ref: NY 50453 45248
Below is the actual wording from
'The Compleat Angler'
the gallant Fisher's life,
It is the best of any;
full of pleasure, void of strife,
And 'tis beloved of many:
Are but toys;
For our skill
Breeds no ill,
But content and pleasure..
I didn't proceed further and returned the way I'd come. In front
of me was another card face with a fish carved to it's right.
The face looked genuine but the fish was rather crude and I'm
not sure if it was done with the other carvings. Returning along
the path quite a few more people were approaching in large
groups and not observing social distancing.
New building across the river.
I got back to the main path and met a few more people as I
returned to the car. I then had a pleasant drive down the
motorway and got off briefly at the Shap exit to make this diary
entry direct to Google Drive.