Devil’s Bridge Butty Stop

Being excited by things that don’t cost money – that’s the key

Evan Davis

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein

These quotes – the latest additions to an occasional series of quotes which strike me as excerpts from a notional manifesto for this blog – were both gleaned from the Guardian: the Einstein quote from a book review, and the other from advice about how to cope with the economic downturn given in an interview.

Lots of free fun today. With the in-laws stopping over TBH and I were able to head of for a stroll together. We needed to visit Kirkby Lonsdale to check out an item being offered on Freecycle, so killing two birds with one stone we found ourselves beginning our walk by the 14th Century Devil’s Bridge….


…and the river Lune…

We crossed the bridge…

…and then followed a narrow bridleway intriguingly named Laitha Lane. A series of field paths climbed up through High Casterton, under a dismantled railway, across a road following the course of a Roman road, and eventually onto another bridleway called Fellfoot Lane. The view ahead was dominated by Brownthwaite Pike…

…which for all its prominence is not actually the top of the hill – there’s a higher point with a trig pillar just behind and that in turn is dwarfed by Crag Hill further back still. Fellfoot Lane follows the obvious line where the comparatively level fields steepen into a hillside. It was pleasantly quiet and green, but pretty wet and muddy underfoot – the morning’s frost having melted away. Aside from the extensive views looking homewards towards Scout Hill, Hutton Roof and Farleton Fell, the track is enlivened by a series of sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy: sheepfolds with boulders in them. We passed three…

The first sheepfold.

Looking across the first sheepfold to Bindloss Farm

Each sheepfold has through-stones jutting out of the wall to act as steps. The second sheepfold presented something of a challenge because the area by the wall was overgrown with brambles…

…but a little effort revealed…

In all honesty we were bemused by these art works. I was more taken by the wall alongside the track which at one point was built on top of a wider wall or embankment…

Our final sheepfold was on a corner where Fellfoot Lane crosses the minor road which climbs up to Bullpot Farm. It was shaded by a holly tree, and we decided that it was our favourite, perhaps because of the moss…

In all there are sixteen of these folds along this lane, and lots more spread around Cumbria. Presumably there are Goldsworthy sheepfold baggers out there somewhere. Hmmm…could be another blog project….

Minor lanes brought us down the hill and back to Laitha Lane. Back at Devil’s Bridge, with the sky brightening, we rounded off our outing with a cup of tea, an egg and bacon bap and a chocolate brownie from the butty wagon.

Addendum – The Legend of Devil’s Bridge

In common with many bridges of the same name, legend holds that the Devil appeared to an old woman, promising to build a bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross over it. When the bridge was finished the woman threw bread over the bridge and her dog chased after it, thereby outwitting the Devil.

Found here

Devil’s Bridge Butty Stop

2 thoughts on “Devil’s Bridge Butty Stop

  1. fatdogwalks says:

    Great stuff Mark!

    I have a photo of one – a sheepfold art work. Came across it in a village (Cosby Ravensworth)just east of Shap last Easter.
    I’ll put it up on the blog if I can find it.

    Enjoyed the photos of Devil’s Bridge and the old canal bridges in a previous post. Working in bridges maintenance I enjoy getting a look at what’s been built in different parts of the country. Neat story about the old woman. I possibly have the dog!

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