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" Cellos and the Stanger Holy Well "

Date & start time:      9th and 14th October 2021.

Location of Walk :     Roadside, Village of Low Lorton, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 153 263)

Places visited :          Stanger Spa (Holy Well) and Stanger How (79m).

Walk details :              3 mls, 200 ft of ascent, 1 hour 20 mins.

Highest point :           Unnamed hill overlooking Stanger Farm, 270ft - 83m.

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

Weather :                     Overcast but dry.


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A bit of a misleading title for this selection, as the cello recital and the Holy Water were several days apart.

The first, a musical event was advertised locally and I thought ... I recognise the face of the musician but I don't know him at all !

However the walk I've known of for a long time but only now have I found the occasion to venture out and explore the history.

Join me on a week of contrasts.

My friend Helmut Hudler who has featured many times on the site.
From Austria . . . Helmut's son Peter . . . note the family resemblance !

As a cellist Peter has played at Edinburgh Fringe events and was offered a musical tour of this part of North west England.

It included concerts at Maryport on Friday and Cockermouth on Saturday.

   Whilst he was here he managed time for a quick visit to Loweswater, a place he had no doubt heard about from his father.

I was able to pick him up from town, accompany him on a walk to Crummock Water and enjoy 'a swift half ' at the Kirkstile Inn.

This was followed by a quick lunch and then back to town, all within a couple of hours.

All that in time for him to rehearse for his evening performance.

Peter was introduced to his Cockermouth audience at the Kirkgate Theatre in town.

His programme brought together classical pieces from Bach and Debussy, jazz, folk and contemporary works of all types.

It was also the first time I've ever seen a cellist pick up his instrument and play it like a guitar, balanced across his knee !


It was a one man virtuoso concert of the highest standard.

A subsequent email notification for an Austrian event provided the following . . .


Als Einstimmung zum Abend gibt es eine Cello Expansion Podcast Folge, die Ihr unter diesen Links anhören könnt!

Alles Liebe, Peter. ( )


In translation . . . To get in the mood for the (forthcoming November) evening there is a Cello Expansion Podcast episode, which you can listen to under these links!

( 12 minutes, voice and music or this if the first link doesn't work )

All the best, Peter.  ( )


If you open in another window or tab you can listen while you view the rest of the photos.  You can also cancel the Spotify request and listen without membership.

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The walk I took to Stanger Spa this mid October day was remarkably level

as it was a route across the meadows of Low Lorton.

During the recent heavy rainfall these fields would have been inaccessible,

a fact that has relevance for one of the features I would see this day.


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I parked on the outskirts of the village followed a footpath sign towards the river.

The footpath isn't well marked but the map was clear.

This was the view up the valley to the familiar outline of Mellbreak there in the distance.

Looking the opposite way, north towards Cockermouth across the flat, broad, wide open fields of the valley.

A superb, free standing field oak, its classic shape unaffected by any adjacent tree or hedges.

Whist close to the river I found what looks like half a river crossing, with a dwarf wall, but there's no equivalent on the other side. 

It is probably river access for the farm animals to have access to the water without destroying the steep sided banks.

As we set off across the open fields some of those animals follow us.  Are they intrigued as to who we are,

do they think Dylan and Dougal look like sheep and so follow them, or are they just hoping I might have a bag of feed under my arm ?

A rather damp section of ground and a strange section of high spec wall compared to the other walls and fences found alongside.

It is alongside this partially hidden field drain.

This is presumably just a small part of a huge Victorian project to drain the whole of this part of the valley.

The extensive land drains travel for miles and to some depth, in order to transform the damp valley of those days

into the (normally) dry grassland meadows that we see today.

It featured in a local history society publication a few years back, but as of now I can't find the link to the detail, sorry.

Onward across the fields towards Stanger How, an area of high ground next to the River Cocker.

The path to Stanger Spa makes its way around the back of the How so moves away from the river itself.

In a small coppice of trees there's signs of an old building.

Not having done much researched I was not really aware of what I was supposed to find.

The bridleway signs encouraged me through the gate to the building on the opposite side.

This looks like the place I was aiming for . . .

. . . and the ornate wrought iron gate confirmed my thoughts and verified my map reading !

An old iron loop to tie your horse . . .
. . . and on the ground inside, a grating over a water filled hole.

That saves me writing it all out again !

In one wall recess is a bird's nest . . .
. . . in the other a roughly hidden modern gps geocache.

Having discovered the building for myself I decided to extend the walk slightly, up onto the adjacent high ground

until I could visualise the site in relation to the rest of the valley.

The black cattle in the adjacent field came across to visualise us !

The ancient bridleway continued on towards High and Low Stanger Farms.

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The view I had was of High Stanger.


This picture was of Low Stanger Farm in 1890.

and has been copied from the Derwent Fells History Group

where a comprehensive article features in their Journal 42.


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Time to retrace my steps past this more modern part finished drainage works in the field on the way back.

On my way back past the Spa building I decided to divert slightly and climb up onto Stanger How, next to the river.

The River Cocker looking back up-river towards Lorton.
Signs of an old quarry on the side of this rocky mound.

There was an extensive but low level view from this delightful little hill.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

Back across the fields now, towards Lorton, with a view across the river to the houses at High Rogerscale.

For those who have seen the recent Colin Firth / Stanley Tucci's film Supernova, these houses feature towards the end of the movie.

The horse paddock, high enough above the river to just avoid flooding this October.

The delightful landmark of the Lorton Sewage Works . . .

. . . as I walk back up the Waterboard's track to the car, at the end of the walk.

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You've seen the pictures,  now's your chance

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and support a good cause into the bargain.

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 Yes . . . for this 15th superb edition we've done it again. 

" Twelve months of Loweswater pictures, Lakeland scenes,

your favourite mountain dogs . . . and don't forget

the bonus photo on the front cover ! "

Click here to order

your 2022 Loweswatercam Calendar

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Technical note: Pictures generally taken with my Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a  cello music accompaniment.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

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A previous time up here - 20th October 2013 - Local History in 20 Objects

Next walk - 15th October Ennerdale Round the Lake