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" Castle Crag for Remembrance 2017 "

Date & start time:    Sunday 12th November 2017,  9.40 am.

Location of Start :   The village of Grange in Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 253 175 )

Places visited :         Broadslack Gill, Castle Crag, High Hows Wood, Millican's Cave and back.

Walk details :             4.5 miles, 1150 feet of ascent,  3 hours 55 mins including time on the top.

Highest point :          Castle Crag, 951ft - 290m.

Walked with :             Neil, Ann, Nigel, Jill, Sherran,Bill, Gill and dogs, Finlay, Dylan and Ziggy.

Weather :                    Sunshine and blue skies, cool breeze, overnight sleet on the highest fells.

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With the prospect of a fine day ahead and with a 9.30am start from Grange,

the morning found eight of us climbing towards the summit of Castle Crag to join up to 200 other people

for a short but meaningful 2017 Service of Remembrance on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

A fine Loweswater sunrise on Remembrance Sunday.

It's a cold morning with a hint of white on the top of Great Gable in the far distance.

It looks cold up there as the summit is occasionally obscured by the high clouds.

Trevor, Neil, Ann, Nigel, Sherran, Bill, Gill, Jill and myself.

We met at Trevor and Gill's house as Trevor, who couldn't join us today, offered to look after Harry who was also unable to make the climb.

Today's walk will take us to Castle Crag where there a Remembrance Service held in memory of those of Borrowdale Valley,

and all those nationally who died in the 1st World War and subsequent conflicts whilst serving our country.

Leaving Grange on this fine morning.

The route is a simple one, take the lane to Hollins Farm that starts by the cafe in the village.

No-one staying on the camping site today . . . except the warden's caravan.  They are closed for the winter I imagine.

The track surface has been improved from last year, Gill says it is for the farmer's and occasional rescue vehicles benefit.

Dalt Wood Quarry looking up towards Nitting Hause.
Our route takes us up Broadslack Gill . . . Bill opens the gate.

As we climb up the bridleway that used to serve the Honister Mines

the view behind Ann and Gill expands to include Derwent Water and the northern fells.

Two Scots Pines silhouetted against the blue of the sky.
In the shadow of the valley the walk continues.

Towards the top of the track we branch off to the left and start the short, steep ascent of the Crag itself.


- - - o o o - - -


On the way we pass a memorial stone to Sir William Hamer

and a seat off to one side where you could stop and enjoy the view.


We wish to get to the summit in plenty of time for

the eleven o'clock deadline so we'll not stop any longer.

Thanks all the same.


Neil and Gill tackle the first part of the slate paths.

The first half of the climb done . . . now we have the main zig-zags up through the slate tailings.

Each year we come up here, the amateur cairns and sculptures are slightly different.

The top of this mini-shelter has been increased in size but still lacks that professional quality, wall-building symmetry !

No matter . . . we proceed up the final part of the climb above the quarry to the top of the crag.

The weather today is a real joy and the summit views are superb.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated version of this photo.

There's quite a crowd gathering and we meet and greet a few old friends.

Margaret Braithwaite, seen here in yellow, will be reading one of the war time poems.

Syd Cornwell is here. 

He camped out last night in order to enjoy the fells yet still be up here in time for the service.

Various people bring their tributes and place them at this place of memorial.

Syd's family crosses include the one to John Travers Cornwell VC, "a Boy 1st Class"

who was the youngest person in World War One to receive the posthumous Victoria Cross honour.

The Star of David emblem was for Bronistaw Rawicz, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust.

All is set in time for the 11am start.

Proceedings were led by Mr Miles Jessop, Church Warden and owner of the local Scafell Hotel

and included two poems, one read by Margaret Braithwaite and the other by Frances Ledwidge (in the red coat).

Our Canadian friend David was up on the top of the rock and subsequently sent me this photo.

There were about 150 or more people here today, possibly two hundred counting those off to the side of the photo.

After the service there was chance to chat.

Sherran produced a coffee flask and biscuits . . . even a nice piece of tray-bake cake !

Better mention the other members of the party . . .

Finlay of Borrowdale, Ziggy (Jill's delightful brown Cockapoo) and Dylan (over the back).

Gradually the people made their way down and the summit was quiet once more.

Now the top is clearer it's time for a few photos of the fells before we go.

Neil managing to get into the picture on this one!   Behind him is the summit of Helvellyn. 

The Helvellyn ridge to the left and right has a dusting of winter white from last night.

Skiddaw on the other hand, despite being further north and about the same height, has none visible.

The classic view down to the River Derwent and Grange Village.
Folk making their way down from the quarry below.

David's picture once more . . . of the first people leaving the fell top and negotiating the slate path.

Once the queues had eased we made our way down.

Can't remember the reason, but there were lots of huddled conversations by the look of it.

We went over to see what the front of the shelter was like.

Room for a couple of dogs but no more.

The steep view down as we start our slate descent.

Those Scots Pines again . . . looking good in the sunshine.
Bill (and the rest of us) descending to the valley.

It's always nice to make a walk into a round trip . . .

so as we climbed Broadslack Gill, we descended towards Rosthwaite, turning left before we fell in the river !

The forest path here is part of the Cumbrian Way and leads back around the base of Castle Crag.

- - - o o o - - -


On the way round we understood that Jill and Nigel

had never visited Millican Dalton's Cave,

so a slight diversion was in order.

The first quarry cave at the bottom of the cliff

gives a clue as to when to start looking,

but the path up is actually a couple of hundred yards further on.

Millican's Cave is high up on the fell, some two quarry levels up.

Inside it is quite spacious and relatively dry . . . it's not a natural cave but an old quarry working from some 150 or so years ago.

It was the summer home to Millican Dalton between the wars when he "escaped" London to become the "Professor of Adventure" here in the Lakes.

There are two entrances, the top one being smaller.

Millican spent many summers here and entertained friends and his walking 'clients'.

He spent his winters in a wooden shack in Epping Forest (where it was presumably warmer).  He died back in 1947.

One of his legacies is an inscription on the rock . . .
. . . which is getting slightly difficult to read.

He was a great philosopher and wrote . . . " Don't Waste Worrds, Jump To Conclusions ".

We leave others to explore and explain . . . as we made our way back down to the riverside path.

Several types of bracket fungus on this decaying Silver Birch.
Bill's the one on the left in the picture . . . to add scale and human interest.

Nigel down by the River Derwent where the dogs enjoyed a short swim.

Walking through the woods the sunlight on the distant larch was eye catching, even better than the photo suggests.

The stretch of the river where Broadslack Gill enters marks our return to our outward path.

Back over the bridge . . . but the stream was shallow enough that it could be easily forded today.

Back to Trevor and Gill's for late lunchtime.

They had laid on beautifully warming soup, followed by coffee and Borrowdale tea cake for everyone . . . a lovely surprise.

Late afternoon and I can't resist the temptation of a photo of the Buttermere Pines on the way home.

It's been a lovely day from start to finish, starting and ending with sun-lit, pink clouds above the fells.

Neil returned to his B&B in Keswick, Jill & Nigel to their dog-friendly Borrowdale Hotel weekend stay.

Sherran & Bill are back with us for another night before they head off to Scotland in the morning.

A big thanks to Gill for lunch and Trevor for dog-walking Harry on a local Grange walk while we were on Castle Crag.

- - - 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 . . . more democracy and lots of talking . . . to prevent wars.

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Previous walk - 11th November 2017 - Sale Fell with Sherran and Bill

A recent related page - 1st November 2017 - History Society Trip to Carlisle's Museum of Military Life

A previous time up here - 13th November 2016 - Remembrance at Castle Crag 2016

Next walk - 14th November 2017 - Holme Wood Bothy


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