Sunday, 5th September 2010




Walk: Sleddale Hall, Keld Chapel, Shap Abbey
Start Point: Wet Sleddale Reservoir car park Grid Reference: NY 554 114
Distance: 11 miles Ascent: 1,550 feet
Time: 6.5 hours    
Weather: Not promising as we left the Fylde, but by the time we set off from Wet Sleddale the sun was shinning and it remained with us all day.
Comments: 13 set off along the south side of Wet Sleddale reservoir, before the 1st stepping-stones and the climb up to the old, almost derelict Sleddale Hall. See the Autumn edition of the Walk magazine, page 33, which gives details of it as the location for the 1987 cult film ‘Withnail & I'. After a further climb it was across the open moor to Keld where we visited the ancient Chapel at Keld, thought to date back to about 1350 as a Chantry for Shap Abbey. It ceased to be used for religious purposes in 1698, and has been used for various purposes since, mainly as a house and as a workmen’s hostel for labourers working on a nearby railway. It was then on to the ruins of Shap Abbey, a Premonstatension foundation with the order moving to Shap in about 1129, and ran until the dissolution in 1540. In those times it would have been very isolated, but provided us with a fine place to have our lunch in the sunshine. From there we progressed to Rosgill to re-cross the River Lowther, before the return to Wet Sleddale. This took us back past the Abbey and Keld Chapel, down to Thornship and the second set of stepping-stones and across the fields. With the chimneys at the Corus works in view it was only a short return along the access road to the reservoir.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Brian leads off and John studies a notice board . . .


at Wet Sleddale . . .


which is now quite full


Our route is past Sleddale Hall . . .


and across the first set of stepping stones


Sleddale Hall inner yard


View from Sleddale Hall


Heading N.E. over Stackhouse Brow . . .


to the dam near Reamer Bank . . .


for coffee


Over the cattle grid into Keld


Looking south-west


First view of Shap Abbey


Shap Abbey as it is now . . .


and as it was in the 1530s


But it is a good lunch spot for us


The second set of stepping stones . . .


but some preferred to use the ford


Nearly back when you can see the Corus works

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