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Millbeck Community Hall, Dodd Wood Mirehouse, St Bega's Church, Chapel Bridge Bassenthwaite, Cumbria.
[9.5 km] Wed 03 May 2023

Lat/Long: 54.624845, -03.153667
OS Grid ref: NY 25612 26135
I left my car in the parking area at the front of the Millbeck village Hall then set off west along the lane. When I return I'll put £2 in the box for a parking donation as requested even though there are several free parking laybys along the lane. I think the Parish could do with the money. It was calm though slightly overcast as I set off. I continued down to the main road junction then took the right forestry track up into the woods. It was long disused for vehicles and didn't look much used by pedestrians either. Higher up the path l left the track and headed into the pines following and undulating route up to a path junction. Heading up the hill I reached a forestry track that took me to the Dodd Wood car park, cafe and toilets. The cafe was closed and didn't seem to open until afternoon.

Dodd wood Cafe.
I descended to the A591 main road, crossed it and followed the path by Mirehouse and its extensive private grounds. It seems to be occasionally open to the public for a charge and there are certainly several ‘Private’ and ‘Ticket holders’ only signs around.

The Speddings family first opened the house to the public in 1981, as they wanted to make use of such a large family home. The original house was built in 1666 by the Earl of Derby as a hunting lodge, but it was expanded in both the 18th and 19th centuries.


The path then headed off across fields to the isolated St Bega’s Church.

Self closing gate.

Self closing gate mechanism.

Self closing gate mechanism.

St Bega's Church.

St Bega's church and Bassenthwaite
There is no surfaced access road and it is very isolated. Inside is quite nice and definitely worth a look. I’d brought my drone with me so I took some aerial views.
The 1867 & 1900 OS map calls it St Bridget's Church. Its not until the 1952 edition that the church is called St Bega's. It was built around 950 AD and is still used for regular services and weddings & is a graded II listed building.

St Bega's Church.

St Bega's Church

St Bega's Church

Stained glass windowws in memory of Margaret Emily Spedding (1842 - 1873)

Graves of the Spedding family.

Highmore Memorial

Royal arms of George II Reign (1727 – 1760)
Dieu et mon droit - God and my right.

The church in the 1830s.
I was hoping to get some shots of it with Bassenthwaite Lake in the background but they didn’t seem to come off as I’d hoped. I left by the track through Highfield Wood and continued to the road where there is a sign mentioning the Church. This seems to be the only vehicle access and the road gate was locked. I turned left and followed the road towards Scar Ness but didn’t go that far. I was heading for a bus stop so I could catch the 654 bus back. Instead of heading for the Castle Inn as I did the last time I took the lane to Chapel Bridge near Bassenthwaite.
Roadkill on the way to the bus stop.

Bus ride back to Millhouse.
It was a pleasant sunny walk and began to get warm as I reached the main road. The bus was due at 11:58 but was late. i was surprised to see it was on the trackable on the bus app and was the first small single deck bus I’ve seen with tracking onboard. It arrived at 12:07 so not too late. I got off at the Millbeck Road end stop and walked up the lane back to the village. On the way I stopped to chat to a workman who was rebuilding a stone wall.

Wall rebuilding.
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