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" Riverside in Cockermouth "

Date & start time:      7th September 2023.   10.15 am start.

Location of Start :     The Memorial Gardens, Cockermouth, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 117 308)

Places visited :          River Derwent, The Gote Canal, with Cockermouth Castle views.

Walk details :              A 1 mile walk of 40 minutes duration.

Highest point :           Understanding more about the local area.

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

Weather :                     Overcast but fine.


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


I was in town today, as the dogs had their annual checkup and MOT, so took the opportunity to have a riverside walk

alongside that area of the River Derwent that I looked down on from Cockermouth Castle earlier this year.

It seemed that this was a popular walk for towns folk, as almost all of those I met this morning were also out walking their dogs.

Gote Bridge crossing the River Derwent at the bottom end of Cockermouth.

The grassy area alongside the river is known as the Memorial Gardens and is popular relaxation area on a sunny day.

Walking upstream on the well established footpath, I soon get site of the confluence of the Derwent and our own River Cocker.

The side river gives its name to the town of course, for this is the "mouth of the Cocker".

Continuing up the riverbank this side brings me to the Castle, towering above what is now the solo River Derwent.

On the wide open area opposite the castle there's an information board to read.

Hope it all makes sense.

The path continues . . . and so do the dogs and I.

A short distance beyond the field there appears to be an old weir,

its cobbled face ending abruptly where it has been washed out by the river.

- - - o o o - - -


A bridge crosses what appears to be an old water channel

which has the remnants of machinery

that would have been used to control a sluice gate at this point.


This was the start of the 'Goat Mills' Race

a water channel or leat that fed the many water mills

that used to work on this side of the river.


The leat was in already existence in the 16th Century (1500's)

and was believed to have been widened and improved

during the rein of Queen Elizabeth I. (1533 - 1603)


It served the local mills till the 20th Century (see photo below).


- - - o o o - -

The water leat may have followed an old meander to the River Derwent and can be seen as the thin blue line on the information board.

Above the bridge a stile gives access to a field from where you can get a view of the river upstream.

The island in the middle splits the river and the opposite channel acted as a natural overflow for excess water held back by the weir.

Nowadays the water channel has been permanently blocked by a concrete wall,

presumably to prevent flooding of the Gote side of the town.

[ The word Gote is thought to be a derivative of the Icelandic word 'Gioto' meaning 'drain'.]

Time to be heading back, reversing our outward walk.

- - - o o o - - -


In the undergrowth at the back of the big field

is a clearing with the remains of a sluice gate.


Presumably in its day this would have been used

to spill water from the channel

for control and maintenance purposes.


It was re-discovered recently, after the 2009 floods

had removed a significant amount of undergrowth

that had hidden it for years.


- - - o o o - - -

It was interesting to see the outside of the castle walls, as I had a tour of the inside of the castle in June.

A local Ash tree was heavy with seed.
Close by a plaque to celebrate a more recent Royal visit in 2010.

The brass plaque was to commemorate the 65th anniversary of VE and VJ days at the end of World War II.

Time to head back to the car to do a little town shopping before heading home . . . ever practical !

- - - o o o - - -


Jumping forward four weeks to the present day . . .


The floods over the years have cause much disruption to structures

adjacent to or crossing the rivers that flow through town.


This week minor flood waters from recent heavy rain

failed to over-top the flood defences, but appeared to have

undermined the foundations of the listed building "The Old Courthouse"

causing it to partially collapse into the river.


In recent years visitors may recognise the building

as the restaurant "The Honest Lawyer"

but it has been closed and subject to renovation for some time.

What can you say but . . . Oops !

- - - o o o - - -


Photo courtesy of friends Pat and Mike Payne.

You won't be able to spend your money there this year so how about something else . . .


Now is  your chance to have your favourite web site pictures

hanging on your wall all year round

and to support a good cause.

- - - o o o - - -

" We've done it again.

We've brought you twelve months of Loweswater pictures,

Lakeland scenes and your favourite mountain dogs."


Yes . . . The 2024 Loweswatercam Calendar is now on sale

- - - o o o - - -

Click here  or on the photos

for full details of how to buy your copy.




Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . viewing familiar locations from a new angle.

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

Previous walk - 3rd Sept 2023 - The Loweswater Show 2023

A previous time here - 16th June 2023 - Cockermouth Castle Visit

A previous time near here (up-river) - 30th Sept - Setmurthy and the River Derwent

Next walk11th - 23rd Sept 2023 - A Visit to Holland and Germany