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Today is   Last update 07-11-2011
 













MEAT AND DRINK II

CWAAS was founded in 1866. In the context of the years leading up to the new century, organising excursions for substantial numbers of members was no mean undertaking. Choice of watering places was obviously important; but some parts of our two counties did not offer a lot of choice. Carriages were open, the weather unpredictable, of course.

There was admiration for ladies who undertook such archaeological activities.

In 1883, when a visit was made to the Lune Valley, the weather was 'anything but pleasant', the Society's reporter tells us, thanks to very heavy rain. A stop was made at the gate of Whelprigg for the purpose of viewing Barbon Cross.

Barbon Cross
Barbon Cross


The party must have been spotted, for we read that 'the very welcome intelligence of an invitation to kettledrum with the High Sheriff of Westmorland (Mr Gibson)' was gladly received by the 'half-drowned travellers'. Our reporter tells us that 'Some of the ladies of the Sheriff's family have frequently roughed it on the Society's excursions, and well know how welcome, between four and five p.m a cup of tea is to the most ardent archaeologist.'.

The clergy of churches visited were equally sensitive to the needs of members for hospitality. In 1890, when 'Rain began to fall heavily as soon as the [Howgill] castle was left' and continued till the arrival at Appleby, a halt was made at Long Marton; and 'while the gentlemen were examining the church, the ladies had tea at the vicarage'.

long Marton Churchyard.
long Marton Churchyard.


The Long Marton churchyard contains a few examples of gravestones to which informative metal plates have been attached.

On another occasion, when a party had driven from its Lancaster base 'to Heysham by way of the marshes' and had visited Heysham church and churchyard (photo 3), the 'Rev. C.T. Royds hospitably entertained the visitors with afternoon tea at Heysham Old Hall'; and during a Lune Valley foray of 1890, when Melling was visited, Rev. W.B. Grenside 'hospitably entertained the visitors to light refreshments at the vicarage'.

St Peter
St Peter's Church, Heysham


That Lune Valley excursion took in Claughton Church and Hall, and 'tea at the Victoria Institute' in Caton preceded the return drive to Lancaster.

Claughton Church has the oldest dated bell in England
Claughton Church has the oldest dated bell in England


Claughton Hall
Claughton Hall


However, one of the most tempting mentions of food is to be found in a report of the 1889 visit to Hardknott Roman fort. There the President read a paper in which he invited his audience to imagine 'the journey of a party of Roman tourists from Lancaster', following the route they themselves had just taken over Wrynose then Hardknott Passes. He sketched the scene:

'As the commandant courteously entertained his guests and feasted them on salmon from the Esk and venison from the fells, the commandant would no doubt bewail to them the hardships of his lot.....'

A wonderful thing, the imagination.

But this 'entertainment' seems a touch unkind - his audience had walked over Wrynose and Hardknott, and they had yet to descend to the head of Eskdale, re-enter their carriages, and then to be driven some two miles before reaching The Woolpack - and lunch!

Eskdale from Hardknott fort
Eskdale from Hardknott fort


Unkind was it? Nay, almost cruel!






























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