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" Pottergill via Whinny Ridding "

Date & start time:      1st March 2020.  3 pm start.

Location of Start :     By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :          Whinny Ridding, Pottergill, The Pine.  Out and back via Foulsyke.

Walk details :              2.1 mls, 500 ft of ascent, 1 hour 20 mins.

Highest point :           The Lonesome Pine, elevation 777 ft above sea level.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                      Overcast, cold and dry, but everywhere feeling damp.

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The daffodils are out to celebrate March the 1st, St David's Day.

St David is the patron's saint of Wales and his emblem is this seasonal flower.

As a child I always remember struggling to find local ones in bloom in South Wales in order to have a flower in the lapel for school that day.

Now they are even in flower in the north of England early in the month of February.

Despite the cold weather today, there can be no denying that global warming seems to be bringing forward the arrival of Spring.

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Life in the valley has its social side and on Monday last we had an interesting talk at the Loweswater Farmers Meeting.

 

 

Justin Bell came over to give us a talk on Metal Detecting.

This is him with his buddy, Daniel Boakes (their photo).

They are local metal detectors from Beckermet on the Cumbrian Coast

and Justin entertained us (in the pub) with his slide show and stories.

He also brought along some of his treasure 'finds'.

 

- - - o o o - - -

When metal detecting you must first get permission of the landowner and also you must declare any "hoards" found whilst digging to the British Museum

[ A hoard is basically three or more coins or historic artifacts that relate to each other and were all found in close proximity to each other.]

The rule is there to ensure that important historic finds are made available to museums and thereby the public

so increasing the awareness and knowledge of our past.

Should they be kept, the finder receives monetary compensation in lieu of giving up the treasure, fame and fortune it seems.

Individual items found, common artifacts or items not required by the museums can be retained by the finder

and Justin brought along a collection of some of his pieces collected over the last few years.

In the left hand picture he has found quarter and half coins, ones that have been deliberately cut in order to give small change.

The act of cutting them into 'four things' gave rise to the name of our smallest denomination coin (of old), the farthing.

- - - o o - - -

 

Intriguing finds included several 'crooked' sixpences.

There's an old children's nursery rhyme:

There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all liv'd together in a little crooked house.

The crooked sixpence was a deliberately polished and bent coin

which Justin suggested was given to a loved one as a token.

Whether these were lost or deliberately thrown away by a disillusioned lover

will never be known !

Several crooked sixpences,

the most noticeable one here is on the extreme left.

They have been bent into an "S" shape.

- - - o o o - - -

He was also very proud of the "Emperor Hadrian" Roman coins that they have found.

- - - o o - - -

 

Perhaps his most unusual and famous find was a hoard

of Viking silver found in the form of ingots.

These were made from melted down (often foreign) coins

and it is assumed that they were subsequently cut

and bartered as payment for goods and services.

 

These are now on display in Whitehaven Museum

 

At the other extreme, he was really pleased about this ancient Darlek, lost in the annals of time and re-found in a fields near Beckermet.

Interesting though this find was, it is no proof of aliens ever invading the Cumbrian Coast.

A great talk by Justin, enjoyed over a pint or two in the Kirkstile Inn.

- - - o o o - - -

Recent stormy weather has laid down a lot of water in the form of rain and snow.

Weather reports suggest that Honister, at the head of the Borrowdale and Buttermere Valleys, received over 3 feet of rain (0.954m) during February.

Some of the rain that descended on Loweswater is still standing on the fields, as the dogs and I set off for a walk today (Sunday 1st).

Overcast with occasional sunny intervals don't seem to encourage the horses at Godferhead to do much except eat.

Behind Moss Cottage in the trees is the distant Swinside Fell, outlier to Hopegill Head.

The horses are grazing in the field next to the wildlife pond at Godferhead Farm.

A muddy walk across the fields brings me to the viewpoint and chair in front of Foulsyke House.

In the garden are bunches of lovely crocuses.

No matter how gently I spoke to them, the daffodils wouldn't turn round for a photo.

This roadside group however were celebrating St David's Day with vigor.

Old Oaks, Pines and a rather bent iron fence line the road ahead.

"Work in progress" delayed by the weather no doubt.
"Natural work in progress" , new catkins on the hazel twigs.

Next to the road at the brow of the hill is an old cow barn or byre.

Very much in a state of decay, one attempt to rebuild it failed to get planning permission several years back.

This could almost be a Yorkshire Barn.

Built on the slope, this tall barn can store hay on the top level and has a second floor at lower ground level to house animals.

Watching Crag and Low Fell summit are the two high points on the ridge behind.

New season frog spawn in a flooded trackway.
Through the gate and into Whinny Ridding Woods.
   
The final fence and a rickety stile leads me out onto the fell.
The track continues onto Pottergill, a ruined farmhouse.

A wider photo of the old farm and barns, built next to a stream for a water supply. It has been derelict for a very long time

but it in its day it was a busy small farm.  The historic records note far more births here than for normal farms or families.

It is believed that it was somewhere remote where 'fallen girls' were sent, in order to have their children born out of wedlock . . . we can only surmise.

Still the view from the old farm would have been great on a good day.

- - - o o o - - -

My route now takes me onto the fell, climbing up rapidly to join a higher footpath, then back in the direction of home.

Even the sun has come out to brighten the scene.

The breeze is still cold but the steep pull up through the bracken on old forgotten paths and sheep tracks warms me up.

Looking down on Oak Bank Farm.

As at time of writing the farm, with the fields this side of the road and those behind me up onto Low Fell

are available for a suggested selling price of two million pounds.  Any offers ?

I believe it comes with outline permission for re-development of the multiple old farm buildings for residential or holiday use.

We reach and walk along the old footpath, part way up the side of Low Fell . . .

. . . which leads on to the Lonesome Pine which we have visited many times before.

One of the top views in the Lake District.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama.

Onward and downward now . . . heading back toward Foulsyke.

On the side of Carling Knott ahead is the 'Loweswater Pheasant' outlined in the colours of the forest.

Crummock and the high fells at the head of Buttermere, with the prominent Loweswater Vicarage across the fields.

Newly dug out drains alongside the Foulsyke track are carrying away a lot of water.

Back to the road and the pines at the end of Wood House's drive.

Our new spiky field next to the red phone box and Rose Cottage.

Back home . . . walking the last two fields in the company of two amateur radio guys

who have been trying for radio contacts, using short wave radios, from Low Fell earlier in the afternoon.

They were rather hampered by the the muddy nature of the ground and lack of footpaths on the steep slopes of the fell.

Still they enjoyed time out in the dry weather, as had the dogs and myself today.

- - - o o o - - -

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus . . . Happy St David's Day.

- - - o o o - - -

 

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . better mapping for visitors of the paths on the side of Low fell.

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Previous walk - 26th February 2020 - A Day of Two Halves

A previous time up here - 10th March 2019 - Pining after the Snow

Next walk - 6th March 2020 - Anglers Crag and a Gather