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Fell Side, Birk Hill, Lingy Hut, Knott, Great sca Fell, Yard Steel, Roughton Gill, Cumbria.
[13.1 km] Wed 06 Oct 2021

OS Grid ref: NY 30429 37372
Lat/Long: 54.726502, -03.081757

I had an easy drive north along the M6 motorway. The lane 3 barriers north of junction 36 have now been removed after many months. Apparently to enable new central barriers to be fitted. I reached Fell Side and was the only person there and under a clear sky, though the sun hadnít reached yet. I set off south along the old mines track enjoying the sunlit views of surrounding hills.
Sunny view of old mine workings.

 Across the Solway Firth to Scotland.
Just over the footbridge across Hay Gill I took a minor track to head up Birk Hill. The start was through deep ferns which thankfully weren't too wet. As I got higher and above the ferns the track was an easy climb back and forth until the higher fell where it vanished. The sky was clear and I had excellent views across the Solway Firth and the mountains of Scotland. My mountains app said the furthest mountains were 80Km away. At the top of Birk Gill I stopped for an early lunch then continued across rough pathless moor across Birk Moss towards Hare Stones.

 Across the Solway Firth to Scotland from my lunch stop.
On the final climb I came to an old mine adit and spoil heaps. The map shows it as a China Clay Mine but the old maps donít show it.
Below notes from an internet search:
Hare Stones Umber Mine/china Clay Mine
More information : Remains of a 19th-century umber mine, briefly worked for china clay in 1883 before reverting to umber. All mining activity here presumably postdates 1863, for nothing is shown on OS mapping of that date. The mine was closed and the machinery sold off 1894-5.
Aerial photographs show a series of shafts, and a spoil heap. A trackway runs off to the north-east. The Hare Stones Umber Mine is situated at NY 311 347. Originally worked for umber, Messrs Woof and Garth re-opened it in 1883 as the China Clay Mine, and worked it for one year. About 1885 the Cleator Iron Ore Company acquired the mine, and extracted umber until 1894-5 when the mine closed. The company constructed an umber crushing and refining mill at Roughtongill Head for the umber (NY 33 SW 72) which was connected to the mine by an 'overhead tramway' (NY 33 SW 74). Shaw adds that the mine comprises a short cross-cut adit to the Roughton Gill South vein, with drifts then driven along the lode which is composed of umber and hypersthenite - a type of china clay.

Nothing is depicted at this location by the Ordnance Survey in either 1863 or 1900. Modern OS maps, however, describe the site as China Clay Mine (disused), and show a Level at NY 3113 3463 plus a waste heap (not named) immediately north of the mine entrance.
I climbed up through the rocks onto the flat moor to join the main track to the Lingy Hut. By now a few clouds had rolled in but the earlier chilly weather was now getting warm. I was now on the Cumbria Way path and in the area of the Lingy Hut was horribly wet after the recent heavy rains. Even after crossing Grains Gill it didnít improve on the climb of Knott. There were still excellent views and in the distance I could see my planned route to Brae fell.
Lingy Hut.

 Great Sca Fell
I made a decision to alter it and descend via Yard Steel instead. I crossed the wet & boggy path to Great Sca Fell where a couple of lady walkers were coming up the other way. We chatted briefly and they asked me to take their photo on their phone, which I gladly did. They headed off towards Knott and I took a decent path towards Yard Steel. The path isnít shown on any map but is well used and good underfoot. Iím glad I decided to come this way.
The views were impressive and as I began the gentle descent of the grassy ridge the impressive Roughton Gill opened up in front of me. Before the valley bottom I came to a flat spot which was big enough for a tent. It would be a good camp spot but the water would have to be carried up from the river below. I reached the junction of Dale Beck and Swinburn Gill below but there was no bridge so I had to hop across without getting my feet too wet. I was now on the main old mine track and followed it back to my car.
Looking down Roughton Gill.

 Distant view of Skiddaw.
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