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Wanthwaite Bridge, St John's in the Vale Church, High Rigg, Sosgill Bridge, Cumbria.
[10.4 km] Wed 16 Jun 2021

OS Grid ref: NY 31263 23073
Lat/Long: 54.598136, -03.065433

The weather forecast was 0% rain when I left home to drive to Cumbria. The drive was gloomy weather and when I arrived at Wanthwhaite Bridge at St Johns in the Vale the forecast was up to to 50% rain & drizzle had started. I decided to put on full waterproofs before setting off west along the narrow lane to Yew Tree Farm. Above the farm is the first gate and a stone building on the right with a caravan & car attached adjacent.
Road to Yew tree Farm

 St John's in the Vale Church.
The front windscreen had been smashed in. I continued up to St John's Church but didn't go it this time as I visited last week. I walked past the adjacent Youth Centre and up to the trees & gate on the road. My first objective was to find a Memorial Stone shown on the map. I headed up the hillside but couldnt see anything obvious. I had a close look at a boulder on the way up. There was a low rock cliff above me so I climbed up the side and saw a tree with a stone nearby. It turned out this lump of stone was the Memorial with lettering In memory of David Gerald Pennycook who loved these fells Died 13 June 1964 aged 10 years. An internet search revealed no details.

David Gerald Pennycook Memorial.

David Gerald Pennycook Memorial
My route traversed the NW side of High Rigg then a short descent to the minor tarmac road and soon reached the holiday cottages of Stone Cottage & Piper House. Further along I came to the road coming in from Dale Bottom and Naddle. My way was straight on to the end of the raod where I branched left to follow a path upwards between the ferns.
Stone Cottage & Piper House.
The drizzle continued and everything was wet. As I got higher the wind increased and I started to look for shelter to have my sandwiches. A large tree didnít have any shelter so I continued up to the high stile and over the wall. Still no shelter. I headed up through a gap and to a small tarn. I peered into the water and saw it was shallow and clear.
Path on east side of High Rigg
The wind was now quite strong but I managed to find shelter behind a boulder along Cowrake Head. I had my sandwiches then rushed along the path to try and get warm. I was now descending the same route as last week and it was here that I saw a young couple walking up. Ther were the only walkers I saw all day. When I got to the bottom I turned left to continue to Low Bridge End Farm where the wind eased and I was able to take my windproof top off. After the farm I turned right through a gate to follow a path along the bank of St Johnís Beck.
SAt John's Beck.
River bank stabilisation

Environment Agency Benchmark

Environment Agency Benchmark
I was on top of an artificial embankment presumably as a flood defence. Part way along I noticed the familiar disk shape of an Environment Agency Benchmark set in a stone at ground level. It was a delightful path and took me to the picturesque Sosgill Bridge. I didnít cross over but headed north through open fields of cows and sheep.

 Sosgill Bridge

 Sosgill Bridge.
It was firm underfoot and eventually I reached the large Bridge House which was empty and no cars parked. It was possible to see some piles of books through the windows but no vehicles had been for ages. Apparently it was the former home of John Richardson the village schoolmaster and a dialect poet. He occupied it in 1886 and moved in with his wife and six children. He died in 1909 and his widow remained there until her death in 1919.
They are both buried in the churchyard of St John's chapel. I followed the house access track along the river abc towards Wanthwaite Bridge. A maker pointed right into some woods and deep grass. I decided to continue along the track to the gate which had a ĎPrivate no Pathí sigh both signs. It was locked so I climbed over and judging by wear on the wood spars many others had done the same. A short way down the road was my car.
Bridge House.
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