logo
Today is   Last update 07-11-2011
 

















WAXING LYRICAL!

'It is good to be out on the road...' the poet told us; and every now and again the writer of an Excursion report lets us glimpse (and even 'feel') the pleasure taken in the scenery passed through and the general atmosphere of the countryside, as well as in the antiquities forming the focus of the ride. Here we go!

In August of 1880, the CWAAS Excursion members made the King’s Arms Hotel in Kirkby Stephen, an interesting old town, their base, and the weather proved very favourable for their purpose.

A fascinating galleried building in the main street of Kirkby Stephen
A fascinating galleried building in the main street of Kirkby Stephen


The Society’s reporter writes:

‘The carriages were then put once more into requisition and the party drove to Wharton Hall. They then went on to Pendragon Castle.…...The scene was so attractive, and the day so fine that it was with great regret the members of the party saw their horses’ heads turned homewards toward Stenkrith Bridge.’ (What a contrast to some of the episodes of very wet and wild weather which members had endured on other outings!)

The dramatic ruin of Pendragon Castle
The dramatic ruin of Pendragon Castle


Then in 1889...

[The previous day's meeting had ended 'at ten minutes to eleven'!] Next day, '...a start was made from the Salutation Hotel at a quarter past [8], by way of Skelwith to Little Langdale, whose soft beauty was enhanced by the morning sun. Lazily, the bits of cloud clinging to the north end of the magnificent form of Wetherlam were rolled upwards, and the warmth of a perfect autumn day was enjoyed during the rest of the route.'

Eskdale, too, inspired the excursion report writer to refer to Cumbria's great beauty:

'The scene here [Hardknott fort] was most glorious. The rich and romantic valley of Eskdale stretched away towards Ravenglass and the sea.......

Hardknott fort dominating Eskdale; view seaward
Hardknott fort dominating Eskdale; view seaward


.....while to the north the monarchs of the lake hills - Scawfell and Scawfell Pike, with Bowfell, Great End, and their big fellows, softened by a silvery haze, stood sentinels over a scene unmatched in the kingom. A steep scramble down from the camp [i.e. Hardknott] landed the party at the foot of the pass where the carriages were again mounted, and a drive past lusciously scented hay-fields and corn hattocks soon landed the company at the Woolpack Inn, in Eskdale'.

The 1892 September Excursion was equally memorable for the weather. The party’s base was at Seascale

Seascale viewed from the Irish Sea
Seascale viewed from the Irish Sea


and members set off, once again, for Eskdale. The destination was Hardknott Castle (the Roman fort), where they were keen to see the results of the ‘recent explorations’.

Afterwards, tea was taken at The Woolpack in Eskdale, after which the party set off for Seascale. The reporter assures us that, ‘On both days’ they had been ‘favoured by the beautiful weather.’.

And there were further treats to come. Our faithful reporter describes the remarkable homeward journey:

‘Although now seen under a totally different aspect, the varying scenes brought into view as the conveyances rattled along the winding road were no less interesting than in the early part of the afternoon. The sombre heads of the hills and mountains stood out boldly beneath the starlit heavens, and the whole scene was most beautiful. The planets Jupiter and Mars shone with great brilliance, and the appearance of a magnificent display of the Aurora Borealis was an additional source of delight; so that, although the evening had brought a chilly air with it, the return journey had its own charms. The Scawfell Hotel was reached about half-past eight.’

Scawfell Hotel, Seascale (no longer in existence)
Scawfell Hotel, Seascale (no longer in existence)


Doubtless this episode would long linger in the explorers’ minds.

Eskdale from Hardknott Pass:
Eskdale from Hardknott Pass: 'Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds.....'








































Getting a new Society off the ground.....
...More
YES! Colour illustrations in the nineteenth century!
...More
Who would be an organiser???
...More
You want adventure? How about this, in 1889?
...More
VOREDA - Ebay of bygone days?
...More
In the swim!
...More
What's your tipple?
...More
Postscript to becoming 'A Society in Union'
...More
Crying wolf.....
...More
Whether the weather be fine or.....
...More
This is the life! Doing your research in style!
...More
The things you find in cupboards!
...More
MEAT AND DRINK I
...More
MEAT AND DRINK II
...More
It's a washout!
...More
Going West.......and South West
...More
UP, UP, AND AWAY!
...More
RUN OF THE MILL? NOT LIKELY!!!
...More
BUILDING THE LEGACY: WE'VE INHERITED
...More
Enclosure Award 1775 - For Great and Little Stainton, Newbiggin and Blencow, Barony of Greystock
...More
Northern England and Southern Scotland in the Central Middle Ages
...More
...More
Carlisle Cathedral Library Conservation Project
...More
Jonas Barber, Clockmaker
...More
The Rise & Fall of the Northumbrian Kingdom
...More
AGM and Members' 20th Anniversary Talks
...More
The Derwentwater Disaster
...More
Excavations at Stainton West
...More
The Ancient Woodlands of Cumbria
...More
Space and Dissent - evidence from Lancaster Castle (Study Day)
...More
Northern Names – regional aspects of the names of places and people
...More
The History of Coniston Copper Mines
...More
Travels of an archaeologist
...More
Archaeological fieldwork, descovery and incident in 2017.
...More
Outside the Law
...More
17th century Time Capsule
...More
The Archaeology of Duddon Valley Longhouses
...More
45th Annual Archaeology Forum
...More
Worlds in Transformation
...More
Headlands to Headspace – Morecambe Bay
...More
The Great War – Ambleside's Story
...More
Romano-British local supply to the Roman Army in the Northwest
...More
The Oral History of Cumbria
...More
The Galloway Viking hoard
...More
The Early Maps of Cumbria
...More
ROMAN ARMY SCHOOL 2018
...More
AGM
...More
The late Iron Age royal site at Stanwick, North Yorkshire: new perspectives
...More
The Remarkable Literary History of Mirehouse
...More
A visit to Mirehouse
...More
Stone Circles of Cumbria
...More
William Brownrigg MD FRCS
...More
Lowther Estates
...More