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
Kissing Gate

The Kissing Gate

A kissing gate is a type of gate that allows people, but not livestock, to pass through. The normal construction is a half-round, rectangular, trapezoidal or V-shaped part-enclosure with the free end of a hinged gate trapped between its arms.

When the gate is touching an arm it must be pulled or pushed to pass through. The gate may need to be pushed to give access to the small enclosure, and when in the enclosure the person pulls the gate past the bulk of the enclosure to exit. Some examples have latches. Most are installed self-closing, to the side away from the pasture (livestock field), by hinge geometry, a spring or weight.

The name comes from the gate merely “kissing” (touching) the inside of the enclosure. It reliably forms a barrier rather than needing to be securely latched on each use. Examples, as with stiles, on footpaths published as accessible are those replaced, improved or supplemented by gates.

Wooden 'V-Shape' Kissing Gate
Wooden ‘V-Shape’ Kissing Gate
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
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
Hadrian's Wall Cycleway

Hadrians Wall Cycleway

This footbridge has replaced an earlier railway bridge, which was demolished in the 1970’s. The bridge is on a section of the Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway. The whole route is 170 miles long, taking in Roman forts, museums, quaint villages and attractive market towns – including Hadrians Wall itself.

The route of the cycleway was officially opened in July 2006. The cycleway, signed as National Route 72, can be cycled in either direction, though it is normally cycled west to east. For a detailed description of the route, and a route map, please visit Sustrans.

  • Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall was built to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire.

Hadrian’s Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman empire for nearly 300 years. It was built by the Roman army on the orders of the emperor Hadrian following his visit to Britain in AD 122. At 73 miles (80 Roman miles) long, it crossed northern Britain from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.

Maximum Headroom 8′ 0″
West Cumbria Coast To Coast Cycleway

Just Do It

I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all earn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair.

That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life — it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed.

And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.

Frances E. Willard, ‘How I Learned To Ride The Bicycle’, 1895
West Cumbria Coast To Coast Cycleway
West Cumbria Coast To Coast Cycleway