Sunday Triptych: St. Mary’s


More views from a short wander from Underley Park into Kirkby Lonsdale, before heading back to watch a S play against a team from Millom. The church looked grand in the sunshine. I was struck by the decoration over the doorways.


This porch is a relatively recent addition apparently, but the doorway within is very old…


And this doorway, at the base of the west tower, is an original Norman feature from the twelfth century.


You can see from the date stone above the door that the rest of the tower was rebuilt in 1705.


There are more Norman features inside, but it seemed inappropriate to pop in to take pictures during a service.

Sunday Triptych: St. Mary’s

Little and Often: January Progress Report


The Manor House Mill Brow.

These photos are from a Kirkby Lonsdale wander on Sunday morning. The weather was dull and damp again. S had rugby training and B was playing against Upper Eden (Kirkby Stephen). I took a wander down to Devil’s Bridge where a group of paddlers looked to be about to set off in one kayak and several open canoes.


Devil’s Bridge.

It looked like it would be fun, if a little cold.


Royal Hotel.



Market Cross and Abbot’s Hall.

This is Swine Market, close to both the river and the church. The market cross, which is medieval was moved here from Market Square in 1819 apparently and sometime in the nineteenth century the ball on the top was added. The house behind is Abbot Hall, also medieval according to a sign attached to the wall nearby, but seventeenth century if you believe wikipedia.



St. Mary’s.

TBH and I were out again later, to check on the Snowdrops in the woods by Hawes Water, which were indeed flowering, but my photo didn’t come out well in the gloom.

It all adds to the tally however. So, how am I going on in my bid to hit 1000 miles in 2018? Here’s my January calendar from MapMyWalk…

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So, 56 walkabouts, none of them particularly long, but making just over 134 miles all told, far surpassing the 80 odd miles I need each month. Twenty-eight thousand calories equates, as anyone who has read as many books on food and nutrition as I have knows, to eight pounds of fat burned. Although both the calorie total and the assumption that a straightforward calories in calories out model is valid need to be taken with a huge pinch of salt in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost eight pounds, sadly. However, I’ll weigh myself tomorrow morning, then I can make a more informed comparison in a month’s time.

Bring on February.


Little and Often: January Progress Report

Little and Often: Listed Lancaster


Millenium Footbridge over the Lune.

Half-baked projects have been a feature of this blog. Some of them – following the length of the Kent over several outings, bagging the Birketts, last year’s Lune Catchment outings – have been moderately successful, in their modest way, not that any of them have reached a conclusion, but they’ve been enjoyable and have all taken me to places I might not have visited otherwise. There have been other ideas which I’ve floated from time to time, but even the ones on which I haven’t made much progress – learning birdsong springs to mind – have given me pleasure despite the lack of significant gains. All of which being the build-up to the announcement of another hare-brained scheme of mine, but first, an aside…



…is Greyhound Bridge in Lancaster. It was closed today for repairs. Built in 1911, it was a railway bridge until the line was closed in 1966. In 1972 it was reopened as a road bridge.  It will be closed for at least 6 months. Apparently the repairs are necessary because the bridge is deteriorating at a rate which means that by 2029 it will be unfit for traffic. In the meantime, traffic will be diverted over Skerton Bridge, which will have to accommodate the traffic currently carried by both bridges,  and which, built between 1783 and 1787, is considered to be rock-solid. There’s a moral in there somewhere.

Anyway, my little projects: last weekend, after I had been admiring the many handsome buildings in Kirkby Lonsdale, I decided to see what I could find out about one or two of them, and it occurred to me to search the internet for listed buildings there. It transpires that Wikipedia has a handy page which gives some details on them all. Whilst I was reading through that list, it occurred to me that a similar page for Lancaster probably exists and that seeking out the buildings on that list would add some interest to my lunch time strolls.


St. John the Evangelist’s Church.

It turns out that Lancaster has well over 300 listed buildings. So plenty to go at. A small number have appeared here before. So, should I start from scratch? Does each building require a stroll and a post of it’s own? Multiple pictures? Interiors where possible? I shall have to give this some thought, otherwise gawping at and photographing the buildings will become too diverting and I shan’t be racking up the miles which was my original intention. Still, I think that this idea has legs.

Little and Often: Listed Lancaster

Sunday Morning Coming Down


By contrast with the Saturday, when the forecast had been a bit misleading, Sunday was every bit as foul as had been predicted. We had frost, hail, snow, fog and rain, rain and more rain. Little S was the lucky one – his rugby training was switched to the Sports Hall at the school, but B was outside on frozen ground with snow falling. Earlier in the week, when B had evening training, I’d walked along the Lune as far as Devil’s Bridge, which in the daylight is a very pleasant walk. It was okay in the dark too, but lacked a bit for views. Which is a shame, because the route passes Ruskin’s View, of which John Ruskin, poet, artist, critic, and all round good egg, said ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’.


So I went back for a proper gander on Sunday. Even on a miserable day it didn’t look too bad.


Also, I discovered that the panorama function on my ‘new’ phone works rather better than the one one on my camera.


I had a little wander around Kirkby Lonsdale. It’s a very picturesque place which deserves further exploration, perhaps when the light is better.


St. Mary’s Church.


Medieval Market Cross.


Tudor, mock tudor? The panels have clearly been decorated in the past.


Apparently the story is that Salt Pie Lane is so named because an enterprising lady used to sell Salted Mutton Pies here. The salt made her customers thirsty and drove them to the local hostelry – which was owned by one of her kinsfolk. Crafty!


Salt Pie Lane.


Later, the rain slackened off briefly, lulled me into a false sense of security and I went for a local wander. The rain didn’t hold off for long and I got drenched. I did find some Snowdrops flowering by the track which runs past our house though.


Sunday Morning Coming Down

Little and Often: Ever Decreasing Circles


Lancaster Canal and Cathedral.

I’ve been trying to get out at lunchtimes, partly to bump up my mileage, partly to get some daylight since it’s generally dark when I leave for work and when I get home again, partly to force myself to take a break, but principally because, once I’m out there, I enjoy it.

These photos were all taken on my phone, but on several different days.


The Judge’s Lodgings.

Last week, I walked the same loop three times: along the canal, down Moor Lane then up Church Street to the Judge’s Lodgings.


Then past Lancaster Priory and the Castle.


View across Lancaster from near the Priory.


Lancaster Priory.

…from where there’s a view across Morecambe and the Bay to the distant hills of the Lake District…


It’s a comfortable 3.29km, just right for a lunchtime. Or…well, it was 3.29km the first time I walked it. The second time it had shrunk to 3.14km and by the third circuit it was further reduced to only 2.99km. This week I’ve chosen to walk a different route on the basis that if I continued in this way then Lancaster might disappear altogether by June.

This wasn’t altogether a bad thing, because the new route took me past Penny’s Hospital, the almshouses on King Street.


And past Windermere House, now flats, but originally a Bluecoat school, first built in 1772, and then the Lancaster Charity School for Girls’, rebuilt in 1849-50.


And, next door to that, Trinity United Reform Church…


Or, actually, the former site of Trinity United Reform Church, since the church has recently moved out.


And across the road from there…


…this building which has an association with Thomas Mawson, architect and garden designer, who has often been mentioned on the blog before (because I’m very taken with his gardens).


There: I got through the whole thing without any reference to the Richard Briers sitcom.

Oh. Whoops.

Little and Often: Ever Decreasing Circles

Lancaster: Lune, Freeman’s Pools, St. George’s Quay.



A Friday evening and we’re saying farewell to colleagues who are moving on to pastures new. The plan is to go straight from work: pub, pizzeria, pub. Since I’ve been avoiding both alcohol and pizza this year, this presents something of a challenge. We have to preorder our meal, which significantly reduces temptation, so I decide to skip the ale and just go for a tomato salad and small Quattro Stagioni. So, whilst my friends are collecting in a convivial hostelry, I squeeze in a short walk around Lancaster.

I park down on St. Georges Quay which is reasonably convenient for the restaurant and for a walk along the Lune and has some of the only unrestricted street-parking in the centre of town to boot. I set-off along the banks of the river. The bank here has a substantial area of waste ground, now given over to Buddleia, on which I’m disappointed not to spot a single butterfly. On the far side of the road a former factory site has been built upon; I haven’t been this way for quite some time and I’m surprised by the number of new houses which have appeared.




Tall (or Golden) Melilot. I think, apparently very difficult to distinguish from Ribbed Melilot. Especially since both are equally tall, golden and ribbed.


Evening Primrose. Another species, like the Melilot, which is both introduced and confusing: there are four species of Evening Primrose found in Britain, but they are hard to distinguish and hybridise anyway.


Marsh Woundwort.


Freeman’s Pools.

Although I know for a fact that I have been along this path before, more than once, I don’t remember the Wildlife Trust Reserve Freeman’s Pools. It’s one of several reserves near to the mouth of the Lune which I intend to explore at some point. I’d originally planned to continue along the river here, but time is tight, so I turn inland on the path which runs through the thin strip of trees which is Freeman’s Wood. In the wood I’m quite surprised to encounter a Jay.


One of the many Loosestrifes. We have something similar in our garden, but the flowers are distributed up the entire length of the stem – I think ours might be Dotted Loosestrife. These look most like straightforward Yellow Loosestrife, except for the orange centre to the flowers, which is characteristic of other Loosestrifes. Ho-hum.


The Comma again.

Back in town, I walk though Abraham Heights on Westbourne Road, before turning past the railway station to the castle and…


Lancaster Priory.

Ordinarily, I would pop inside to have a gander, but our booking is fairly soon (and I’ve been in many, many times before). I also don’t divert to take in the foundations of a Roman Bathhouse, but do pause to photograph…


…the view from by The Priory, across the Bay towards the lake District. The hills of Cumbria look a bit indistinct and unimpressive in my photo, but this view is actually excellent and during the winter I often came here at lunchtimes to take it in.

I head downhill, back to the quay.


Maritime Museum.


Richard Gillow was the son of Robert Gillow the founder of a Lancaster furniture company, thought to be the first to import mahogany to Britain. As well as importing exotic timber and exporting Gillows’ furniture, his ships also traded in sugar and rum from the Caribbean, wine from the Canary Islands, and were probably involved in the slave trade.

The old warehouses along the quay have been converted into homes and offices.


Former Warehouses.

The pub with all of the hanging baskets outside is the Waggon and Horses where I’ve been a member of the Quiz team for many years.


Lune and St. George’s Quay.

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Lancaster: Lune, Freeman’s Pools, St. George’s Quay.

Killington Constitutional


From Burns Beck Moss it was only a short drive to Killington. This is Killington Hall. It’s 15th Century with alterations or additions from 1640 and 1803. Oh, and 2017.


The peel tower is described as ruined, without a roof or a floor, on the description given with the listed building status, but it is clearly being restored at present – the windows have glass in them again and it is being reincorporated into the house by the look of it.


Opposite the Hall is All Saints Church.


According to a notice within the church, this is 13th and 14th Century and was built by the Pickering family who lived in the Hall (the Hall occupies the site of an even older building).




…is a fragment of medieval glass, showing a lion from the crest of the Pickering family.


“The east window, by Christopher Whall, dates from 1907”. (Source)

At the side of the peel tower runs Hall Beck…


…another tributary of the Lune.


Old School House, Killington.


The Middleton Fells.

This was a relatively short walk. You can trace my route on the map below: down the hill to Hallbeck, back up the other side of the stream, then south to Beckside, up to Harprigg then north back to Killington via Aikrigg.


Hall Beck at Hallbeck.


The Middleton Fells and Beckside.

It was mostly through farmland and not particularly spectacular in itself, but with great views of the Middleton Fells.


Burns Beck (again!) at Beckside.


Barn at Low Harprigg.


Harprigg. An unusual entrance I thought, I can’t find any historical details on the internet.


Red Admiral.


This Corvid – as usual, I’m not confident about which type – sat just beyond a gate from me, apparently oblivious until I opened the gate. Sadly, it wouldn’t turn around for a better portrait.

Near to this…


…transmitter? Phone mast? Whatever – was the highest point of the walk and also the best spot for views.


Howgills, Lune and Rawthey valleys and Holme Knott.


Middleton Fells.


Burns Beck yet again.

I’d seen many more hedgerows cloaked with tent webs, but no sign of either caterpillars or moths in them. Now, as I stepped over stile, lots of small white things fluttered down out of the hedge, looking remarkably like petals falling on a gentle breeze. But they weren’t petals…



Back to Killington.

Killington walk

Killington Constitutional