back to my home page

Latrigg (Scawthwaite), Ruthwaite, Humble Jumble Gill, Caermote Roman Fort, Binsey, Cumbria.
[15.8 km]  Thu 22 Oct 2020

OS Grid ref: NY 23531 35084
Lat/Long: 54.704940, -03.188239

The first part of my drive north to Cumbria was difficult in the dark and rain along the M6. By Shap the conditions had improved a bit. I left the motorway at Penrith and continued past Bassenthwatie to the small muddy parking area below Binsey. I was surrounded by mist and no views of the mountains.

 Starting in the mist.

Binsey Lodge..

Binsey Lodge by Wainwright.
This was
Rain threatened but hadnít started but I put my waterproof leggings on anyway. I set off for my first objective of Latrigg, not the main one near Keswick but the slightly lower one to west of Scawthwaite Close. I followed the lanes towards Over Water but before reaching it turned left to head up a muddy track between an avenue of trees. The right turn heads to Overwater Hall, a hotel. Heading up the lane there was no view due to low cloud.
Trees towards Latrigg.

Ordnance Survey bench mark on gatepost..

Ordnance Survey bench mark on gatepost.
I came across a stone gatepost on the right with a nice OS benchmark carved on the west face but a later check on the old maps didnít show it. NY 24117 35115 Before reaching the road I left the path and turned right to head off across the very wet open field. There was only mist ahead as I followed a fallen down wall until I came to the summit. There was a small cairn but no views. A brief cap in the cloud revealed a couple of standing stones in the distance.
Latrigg cairn.

 Standing Stone on Latrigg.
Because of the mist I couldnít judge how big they were so I wandered over to investigate. The largest was about 2m high and stood on its own with the smaller on to the right about 20m away. They went part of a wall line and I've no idea what purpose they serve. I was close to Scawthwaite Close Farm but it was down a steep bank and wasn't visible.
 I wasnít on a public footpath so decided to leave the fell unobserved. Heading north I came to a fence and gate then down to the farm access track to the road. I turned left to head towards the next path but before I reached it noticed a gate across the valley that would get me to the Ruthwaite Road and save some needless road walking. I crossed the field and noticed an animal trap on the way. I was baited with a couple of dead birds so I assume it's for foxes.
Latrigg cairn.

 Looking back to Latrigg.

Stone arch.

Stone arch date stone probably 1885.
I continued to Ruthwaite and turned left along the narrow lane to a point where it turns right. Here there is an interesting stone arch across Mell Beck with a date on the top. It looked like 1885. I continued along the leafy lane with the Ireby Grange estate to my left. The impressive estate access gate on the left was closed with a Private warning.

 No entry.

I could see some of the access steps to what was the High Ireby Grange House. Nothing is left of the building that was burned down in 1957.

Ireby Grange in better times.
An on-line search gave the following information:
The mid-19th-century Ireby Grange was destroyed by fire in 1957. The house and estate was acquired in 1841 by Henry Granger, a London merchant, who in 1870 sold it to John Boustead. By 1906 it was transferred to James Gurney, and by the 1930s was largely unfurnished, and run-down when Hugh Walpole visited and decided to set the house as The Fortress, one of the four stories in his The Herries Chronicles novels. The glass plate photographer was Henry Mayson (1845-1921), who was born in Keswick and who set up a photographic studio there in the 1880s, producing postcards under the 'Mayson Series'. His work concerned the landscape and people of the Lake District.
Further along the lane I came to an overgrown trough in the wall and stopped to take a photo. A lady came down the lane and we stopped briefly to chat. She said the High Ireby Grange House used to have its own hydroelectric generator. Wainwright's Northern Fells book says Ruthwaite was the home of John Peel the huntsman (1776-1854) for most of his life.  

Ireby Grange steps.

Trough by the road.

 John Peel the huntsman (1776-1854)

Another bench mark.

Bench mark.
There was a
I left the village along a narrow muddy lane heading NW. A sign says Ďclosedí but I assumed it referred to vehicles so continued. Eventually it deteriorated and would only be passable with a tractor. I found another benchmark on a stone gatepost and took a photo. At the road I turned left and after a short way came to Beck House cottage by the bridge and brook. Iíd come this way so I could comment on the wonderfully named Humble Jumble Gill.
Humble Jumble Gill in the foreground.

 Trees by Humble Jumble Gill.

The adjacent fields are Snittlegarth Park. A short way on was an interesting hexagonal property on the right. It was well maintained but nobody seemed to be in. There was an inscription in the stone lintel over the door but I couldnít read what it said.

Hexagonal house.


On Stangerhill.

I continued along the road passing Stangerhill on to the site of Caermote Roman Fort on the right. I went into the field through the gate and walked round the rite before returning to the road and up the track towards Binsey.

Caermote Roman Fort from the air.
Caermote Roman Fort.
The 1st-century monument includes two turf and timber constructed Roman forts at Caermote; specifically a large early fort and a smaller later fort built within the earlier fort. There were limited excavations at both forts in 1901 and again in 1959. During this initial period of occupation it would have been garrisoned by a unit of auxiliary troops about 500 strong employed in policing the area, and in particular controlling access into the northern Lakes. The garrison appears to have been reduced in size after a short period of time hence the construction of a smaller fort within the defences of the earlier. The excavations revealed evidence of lead production.

 Standing on a rampart of Caermote.

I stopped by the chimney flue and fireplace in an alcove cut in the hillside. It's an interesting spot but I couldnít find out anything about it. Wainwright covers Binsey but makes no mention of it.

Fireplace and flue.

Heading up the fell the distant Binsey was hidden in the mist but as I approached the summit I could just make out the stone shelter circle, trig post and summit cairn.

Gate to Binsey.

 Binsey summit in the mist.
There were a couple of walkers there and they left just as I arrived. With no views I continued east on the easy descent. Itís my third visit and previous visits had the same weather. I was soon back at the car and enjoyed taking off my wet boots and socks for something more comfortable.
back to  my
home page