Week In Focus #45

This is #45 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.

  • This week’s photo is of Carlisle Castle.

Carlisle Castle is situated in Carlisle, in the English county of Cumbria, near the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. The castle is over 900 years old and has been the scene of many historical episodes in British history. Given the proximity of Carlisle to the border between England and Scotland, it has been the centre of many wars and invasions. Today the castle is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public. The castle until recently was the administrative headquarters of the former King’s Own Royal Border Regiment now county headquarters to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and a museum to the regiment is within the castle walls.

  • I do apologise for the delay in providing this week’s photo. I’ve been incredibly busy with a project that I’ve been working on. I’ll update you on that later on next week. It’s worth the wait!
Carlisle Castle
Looking out, from within
Big guns protected the castle from marauding Scots
Barracks of The Kings Own Border Regiment
Quivers required
Leading to the Battlements
Inner Gatehouse
Fabulous Portcullis
Whitehaven Golf Course

Week In Focus #44

This is #44 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.

  • This week’s photo is of Whitehaven Golf Course.

The course was founded in the year 2000. It is a challenging course with many varied holes. Coupled with the spectacular views of Ennerdale and the surrounding fells. The course is 6246 yards, and features 9 ponds and 3 woodland areas.

For more information on playing a round, please visit:

Whitehaven Golf Course
Whitehaven Golf Course
The Fawn Cross

The Fawn Cross

On Jacktrees Road, between Cleator and Cleator Moor, and near the long gone south level crossing, there formerly stood a farmhouse, which collapsed years ago owing to the subsidence of the ground. There, the ancient Fawn Cross stood. It too plunged to the depths, but was recovered following an excavation. Despite the cross crashing down, it was found to be in remarkable condition.

The cross is of red sandstone, cut with a broad chisel, and of good workmanship. The head measures 19 inches across the arms, all three limbs expanding slightly and chamfered on their edges, with a small cockspur at the outer end of each chamfer. The ends are plain, flat, and un-chamfered, and the intersection of the arms is filled by a plain shield in relief on one of the faces. The shaft is broken short.

The Fawn Cross is believed to be medieval in nature, and perhaps pinpointed the direction of a local corpse road, for when a body was being taken to St. Bees for interment.

  • The Fawn Cross can now be found in the gardens of the Ennerdale Country House Hotel in Cleator.
  • Fawn Cross is a corruption of Fallen Cross.
  • Crossfield may take its name from the cross. It is believed the cross originated there.
The Fawn Cross
The Fawn Cross
Abandoned Farmhouse

Abandoned Farmhouse

For years, I’ve driven past an old farmhouse near the village of Pica in West Cumbria and always thought to myself that I’d love to grab a photograph. Yesterday, I finally achieved that goal.

The old building is currently used for storing silage. It would make a lovely home if someone out there had the money, time and patience. Mind you, the farmer might not sell – I wouldn’t if I had property in such a location.

Farewell To The Farm

The coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
And kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

And fare you well for evermore,
O ladder at the hayloft door,
O hayloft where the cobwebs cling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

Crack goes the whip, and off we go;
The trees and houses smaller grow;
Last, round the woody turn we sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

Robert Louis Stevenson
Abandoned Farmhouse
Abandoned Farmhouse, Pica
Windswept Wheat Field

Week In Focus #42

This is #42 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.

  • This week’s photo is of a windswept wheat field, in West Cumbria.

Hulled, beardless
Eating, gritting, flouring
Such feelings of happiness


Windswept Wheat Field
Windswept Wheat Field
Bumble Bee


Most bumblebees are social insects that form colonies with a single queen. The colonies are smaller than those of honey bees, growing to as few as 50 individuals in a nest.

  • The word “bumblebee” is a compound of “bumble” + “bee”—”bumble” meaning to hum, buzz, drone, or move ineptly or flounderingly.

Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
“Hide from your neighbours as much as you please,
But all that has happened, to us you must tell,
Or else we will give you no honey to sell!”

A maiden in her glory,
Upon her wedding – day,
Must tell her Bees the story,
Or else they’ll fly away.
Fly away — die away —
Dwindle down and leave you!
But if you don’t deceive your Bees,
Your Bees will not deceive you.

Marriage, birth or buryin’,
News across the seas,
All you’re sad or merry in,
You must tell the Bees.
Tell ’em coming in an’ out,
Where the Fanners fan,
‘Cause the Bees are just about
As curious as a man!

Don’t you wait where the trees are,
When the lightnings play,
Nor don’t you hate where Bees are,
Or else they’ll pine away.
Pine away — dwine away —
Anything to leave you!
But if you never grieve your Bees,
Your Bees’ll never grieve you.

Rudyard Kipling
Bumble Bee
Bumble Bee
Devoke Water Boathouse

Devoke Water Boathouse

The boathouse at Devoke Water was built around 1772 from stones gathered on the shore of the tarn. It was originally designed to provide shelter, and had a fireplace. Peat was dug from nearby to fuel the fire.

The building was constructed by John Jackson, a farmer from Dalegarth, and John Bowman, a fisherman. Locals would pay 2 shillings a year for the right to fish the tarn.

  • Devoke is pronounce “Duvvock”.
  • A tarn is a mountain lake.

Devoke Water is the largest tarn in the Lake District and is owned by Millom Anglers. It is situated at an altitude of 766ft and has a maximum depth of 46ft. Due to the sparse and low bank side vegetation the tarn lends itself perfectly to the fly fisherman.

Devoke Water Boathouse
Devoke Water Boathouse
Longlands Lake

Week In Focus #40

This is #40 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.

  • This week’s photo is of a former Iron Ore mine in West Cumbria, which is now a lovely little nature reserve. In 1939 the mine started to subside and flood the area, creating Longlands Lake. Longlands was acquired by Cumbria County Council in 1980.

Longlands Lake nestles between Egremont and Cleator Moor and supports an abundance of wildlife within a variety of habitats, which include: broadleaf woodland, unimproved grassland and aquatic vegetation.

The lake is important for its bird population and breeding species include mute swan, coot, moorhen, goosander, tufted duck and mallard.

A circular walk provides safe and enjoyable access all year round for walkers, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs and young children. The surface material is finely crushed local quarry stone which provides a hardwearing, compact surface.

Longlands Lake
Longlands Lake
Bridge End, Egremont

Bridge End, Egremont

The River Ehen flows through the historic market town of Egremont in West Cumbria. The river supports the largest freshwater pearl mussel population in England. The river is also a breeding ground for Atlantic salmon.

At Bridge End, in Egremont, the river flows past terraced houses overlooking a sometimes raging torrent, and then onwards to the sea. The River Ehen is overlooked by Egremont Castle – a historic castle dating from around the first millennium AD.

In 1565, a stone bridge was built over the River Ehen to access the town. In bygone days, dyeing and weaving were traditional industries based around the River Ehen.

I have come a long way to-day:
On a strange bridge alone,
Remembering friends, old friends,
I rest, without smile or moan,
As they remember me without smile or moan.

All are behind, the kind
And the unkind too, no more
Tonight than a dream. The stream
Runs softly yet drowns the Past,
The dark-lit stream has drowned the Future and the Past.

No traveller has rest more blest
Than this moment brief between
Two lives, when the Night’s first lights
And shades hide what has never been,
Things goodlier, lovelier, dearer, than will be or have been.

Edward Thomas
Bridge End, Egremont
Bridge End, Egremont