Tuesday, 3 April 2018

A couple of castles.

On Wednesday morning we woke up to snow. Not a huge amount, rather just a light dusting.

This is the row of railway workers cottages where we stayed. We had the end one nearest my car. The front faced the road and there was a little courtyard at the back which meant we could shut the gate and let Scamp out when needed.

Having attended training on the new data protection laws I realised I needed to black out my number plate since it links to a lot of personal information. It's interesting how times change as I wouldn't have bothered a couple of years back. Anyway about half an hour after taking the photo it began to snow again and Richard and Scamp went out to 'play' until it got heavy. We had already decided to stay close to home since the forecast was for snow on and off over the day but we knew there would be very little lower down the valley. 

We drove to Kirby Stephen, stopping on the way for Richard, John and Scamp to walk up to another waterfall. I stayed in the car as the cold makes my feet and hands painful due to the neuropathy. I caught up on some reading whilst they were gone. After that we stopped to visit a ruined castle that was close to the road. This was Pendragon castle which was built by the Normans in the 12th century close to the River Eden. Legend suggests that it was founded by Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur and also puts forward the idea that Uther and 100 of his men were killed here when the Saxon invaders poisoned the well. The castle was burnt by a Scottish army in 1341 and rebuilt in 1360. Again in 1541 it was burnt and wasn't restored until the 17th Century but following this it gradually fell into ruins. The castle was built on a steep hill and I took my photo as I walked towards it making it appear laid back.The moles had certainly been busy in the grounds.

There wasn't a lot of the castle left but I can see why they built it here as it commanded a good view in all directions and had a ready water supply from the river.

From here we went to Kirby Stephen where we enjoyed a pub lunch of freshly cooked fish and chips at the King Arms. We explored the town itself and Richard bought a new beanie hat. There was a small wool / fabric shop that I had a search through and found some fabric with penguins on to use in my hexie quilt. I haven't taken a photo of it but I'll show you when I use it. We were going to have a look at the church but a school was using it for their end of term Easter service. 

The church was reached from the market square through the Old Cloisters which was built with money left by John Waller a resident of the town. The church itself is known as the Cathedral of the Dales and is unusual as it serves both the Anglican and Catholic congregations of the area. The cloisters served to keep the church goers dry and was also used as the butter market.

On the wall inside the cloister was this plaque with the regulations of the market

We enjoyed walking round the town and discovering its history. We finished our day by buying food for dinner and then headed home. The fire was lit and as there was still some daylight left John and Richard headed out for a brief walk. Scamp and I settled down to watch Mama Mia and some stitching.

Thursday was dry but overcast. We planned to drive to Brough and Brougham to visit the castles and do some walking. We didn't leave until after lunch as the journey wasn't very far and we were all feeling a little tired.  Walking through the town we came across these knitted bits on the railings by the waterfall

They had been knitted as a fundraiser but I can't remember what the money was being raised for.  There was also an advert for the 'knitted bible' which was on display over the Easter weekend. It would have been interesting to see but we were going home on Friday and so would miss it. There is a Facebook page for it if you want to find out more about it.

Just over the railings the waterfall was crashing through the town.

The castle was built around 1200 and much later had more comfortable living quarters added by the  Clifford family but it was burnt down following a Christmas party in 1521. The castle was restored in the 17th Century by Lady Anne Clifford but after her death it again fell into ruin.

In the grounds there were sheep with young lambs

As we arrive one lamb had just been born so we enjoyed the sight from a distance and left the sheep to get to know her baby.

The farm next door to the castle made ice cream and had a tea room but wasn't dog friendly so since it was getting colder we headed back to the car and made it just before it started to sleet. We decided to make our way back to the cottage rather than travelling on any further. After all, over the week we had ticked everything on our to do list - visit lots of waterfalls, visit a castle, see some very young lambs and enjoy walking in the dales. In addition we had all caught up on much needed sleep, managed to do some reading and I had done some hand stitching. We needed to do a little tidying as we had to leave by 10 a.m. the next day and we also needed to be back in London by early evening as Kathryn had got tickets for the Modigliani exhibition at the Tate Modern for 9 p.m.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about our trip to Yorkshire. In the car on the way home we started planning our next holiday. This time we plan on visiting the coast, probably in Dorset.

Last evening I didn't get any time for stitching as we had agreed to pick Lucy and Dan up from Stansted airport at 11:30. Their flight from Berlin was delayed by an hour and once it landed they were held quite a time before a gate became available for them to disembark so it was very late when we got home. 

This morning I completed some work for my job and now I have some time to get my sewing machine out. I may start the quilting on my compass quilt and I need to finalise my sewing  plans for the next couple of months.



  1. Interesting photos of your travels. It all looks very pastoral. The age of everything is amazing to me here in the ‘new’ world.

  2. Lovely photos. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh what a fun tour. I love the castles. I’ve not been to the UK (unless Ireland counts), but I’ve seen some of the castles in Germany. So much fun to revisit those very ancient places. I always wonder whether the folks who were living in those times knew we’d be visiting 500 years on.