Friday, March 27, 2009

Wetherall viaduct - railways

This is quite a well known picture.It shows the viaduct over the river Eden connecting Great Corby with Wetherall. The train line links Carlisle with Newcastle and was one of the very earliest in the UK.

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Limestone pavements

The traditional image of the Eden Valley shows the rich red Penrith Sandstone. You see this in the brick work of the houses, you see this in the pavements exposed when the water levels drop in the summer.But its not the only bedrock. Go up stream towards Appleby and you will come to limestone country. This picture from Asby Scar shows limestone pavements with their unique e

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Memories of our industrial heritage

These days the Eden seems very quiet.Basically a rural landscape with some dairy and sheep farming and of course the tourists in the summer.But it wasnt always like this.Sometimes when we are out on our walks we come across reminders as in this picture of old lime kilns up by Tindale Tarn.

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Fishing in the Eden Valley - Salmon

This is a picture of the Salmon traps just below Corby Castle near Wetherall.

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Reflections in the Eden

Sometimes when the rivers are low and slow you get beautiful reflections in the water.
This is a picture from the river Gelt.

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Autumn in the Eden Valley

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Originally uploaded by colinc
When the warm days start to fade, the tourists leave is now that the trees start to change colour in anticipation of the wet winter ahead.

For just a few weeks the whole of Eden turns into shades of bronze,umber and burnt orange...beautiful.This picture was taken on the road from Ainstable coming into Armathwaite.

River Eden at Armathwaite

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Originally uploaded by colinc
Living in the Eden Valley we are used to the way that the river can change from placid and quiet to what is frankly a terrifying torrent of water.
When the warm summer months are with us then the river runs slow and quiet.The water level drops to expose the pavements of red penrith sandstone and some of the walks are just so pleasant you can while away a whole day with a picnic by the river

Kissing Stone

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Originally uploaded by colinc
This picture is a little bit away from Great Salkeld but for anyone who has read Walter Scott's books then a visit to Gilsland and the Kissing Stone is a must.These days it is set away under some trees in a lonely spot by the river.But still worth visiting

Saint Michael's Glassonby

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Originally uploaded by colinc
This charming church is just outside the hillside village of Glassonby. You will pass this way on the circular walk which takes in Long Meg,Lacy's Caves and of course Little Salkeld

Snow in Cumbria

Originally uploaded by colinc
One of our recent guests was asking how often we get snow up here. Well if he asked this last year i would have said once in a blue moon. However back in February we had a real snow storm , the world turned white and this photo shows what it was like.The scene is from up near Gelt Woods,Brampton

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lacys caves on the river Eden.

The same Colonel Lacy who infamously tried to blow up the stones of Long Meg also created a tourist attraction of a different kind...Lacys caves. Carved into the red sandstone just above the River Eden ( opposite bank to Wetheral Cottages) the purpose of the caves have since vanished into folk lore.
What we do know though is that it's a very pleasant walk from Little Salkeld and all in all a nice day out.

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Long Meg and the Anhydrite mines

These days views across the Eden Valley show a tranquil rural landscape with no sign of industrial use. However it hasn't always been that way .......there is a history of heavy industry....but underground! The Eden valley has long been known of as a source of Gypsum ( see the British Gypsum plant at Kirkby Thore as an example). Just across the river from Wetheral Cottages there was once a small anhydrite mine which was started in 1880 by the Long Meg plaster company.

When you take the Glassonby/Little Salkeld walk you will pass the original site , Cave Wood Valley and we often wonder if the miners who dug so far into the hill side underneath the stone circle ever thought of the legends of divine protection for the stones and what the Gods would have thought of them in their tunnels!

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Long Meg and her daughters

We often find our guests asking directions to the stone circle which they have heard so much about. Well what they mean is how do they get to see Long Meg and what can we tell them about her.

Long Meg is the main stone within a stone circle which is often talked of as second only to Stonehenge. The circle is 350 ft in diameter and there are reported to be 69 stones although it is often joked that a different number is counted everytime you walk round the circle.

Long Meg herself is nearly 12 ft tall and she is made of Penrith red sandstone. Her daughters are made of rhyolite ( basically a granite).

This web page shows a good aerial photograph.

Over the years there have been many stories about the circle, Wordsworth spoke about it and it is also said that the local landlord tried to dynamite the stones until a really strong storm convinced him otherwise.

It is also worth noting that there were anhydrite mines in the area with tunnels under the stone circle.

To reach the stone circle from Wetheral Cottages it is necessary to cross the Eden and head for Little Salkeld. The road out of the village climbs steeply and shortly you will see a sign post on your left.

The stone circle is also on the Little Salkeld/Glassonby walk which we will write about later

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