In April, I met up with David Dixon, Graham Bell and friends from The Carlisle and North Cumbria Group of ‘The Ramblers Association’ to participate in one of their walks. I had been looking for an interesting route between Aspatria and Wigton near Allhallows and their Mealsgate, Harbybrow and Blennerhasset walk [7 miles] seemed to tick the boxes for me. It was a terrific outing with plenty of historic interest, a river and superb views of the Northern Fells.

In September, I led a Churches Together [CTiCA] walk on a shorter version of the walk which I’ll share with you this month. It starts just to the south west of the A595 and B5299 to Fletchertown junction at Mealsgate [Grid Ref NY208419]. Look out for a section of disused road, on the left just before the junction to park safely. Alongside ‘East Lodge’ is a path that heads west into woodland with views of two interesting buildings: -

turbine to the south. Head southwest to the left of the turbine, between two areas of woodland to Dow Beck and on to reach Harbybrow.

1930. The Baggrow station has disappeared but the former Mealsgate Station can be seen from the bridge between Fletchertown and Mealsgate.

Stroll through Baggrow and enjoy some of the house names, that indicate their previous history to just beyond the remaining abutment of a railway bridge and Railway Terrace. Turn right here to follow the road/track up the hill for ½ mile to reach B5299. Turn right and look out for All Saints’ Church on your left.

Harbybrow Peel Tower

Harbybrow - is the smallest hamlet in the Parish of Allhallows. The pele tower connected to the manor house was built in the 15th century and was a substantial defence and shelter in the days of the Border Reivers. Behind the tower flows River Ellen. Cross the river via the bridge on the right to a path waymarked to Blennerhasset. Follow this path NW across fields, with the disused Blennerhasset Mill to your right, to reach a track that heads SW into Blennerhasset.

All Saints’ Church, Allhallows – built in 1899 from local pink sandstone quarried from an adjacent field. Rev. John Wordsworth [William Wordsworth’s grandson] was vicar between 1895 and 1925. Cross the road to head down the lane past the vicarage, to Leesrigg Farm and then head SE on the path to return to the start. I recommend using OS Explorer Map OL4 [North – Western area] for this walk.

Former Mealsgate Railway Station Allhallows 'Old' Church

Allhallows Old Church - Dates from 12th Century, renovated in 1861 but now in ruins after the nave, south aisle and porch were demolished in 1935. The remaining part acts as a mortuary chapel for the Moore family. There is an annual outdoor service at end of May/Early June. Not too far away is All Saints’ Church, built in 1899 to replace the ‘Old’ Church.

Whitehall - built by Anthony Salvin in 1861 for George Moore, the wealthy merchant and philanthropist. It replaced an earlier house on the site. George Moore was born at Allhallows, from a humble background and went to London to seek his fortune with half-a-crown in his pocket. He became wealthy but was enormously generous. He helped found hospitals, homes and missions.

Continue heading west following the waymarker to Harbybrow to reach open ground with a single wind

WWW.COCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK River Ellen at Blennerhasset

Blennerhasset and Baggrow – Blennerhasset has about 100 houses centred around a village green, some dating back to seventeenth century. This is a splendid location for a break during the walk before crossing River Ellen to Baggrow. Blennerhasset has a fascinating history and information is available by the school regarding the Roman Fort and the unique farming co- operative experiment in 19th century led by William Lawson. Baggrow had a small railway station on the Bolton Loop Line between Aspatria and Mealsgate. The line opened in 1866, to serve the local mining activities, then passengers, then services ceased in

This is a very enjoyable outing, one of the best that I have undertaken with a beautiful rural setting throughout. However, the industrial heritage is just amazing too. Coal was mined at Allhallows Colliery and Bolton Colliery, both at Mealsgate, Brayton Knowe Colliery at Baggrow, Brayton Domain No. 3 Colliery at Aspatria, Pow Ghyll Colliery at Wigton, all closed between 1897 and 1930. If you would like to read more on the Bolton Loop mines, view via this link:

This walk has been good for me to pause, remember and give thanks to those who lived and worked in this area to provide resources for their families, communities and country.

ISSUE 436 | 24 OCTOBER 2019 | 23

Explore and discover! Stan Leigh

Northern Fells from Allhallows Church

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