We walked in the shadows of Roman Britain

What a great turnout today! 17 walkers, including our leader Andrew Nicholson who met us at the Lanercost tea rooms car park on his ancient and venerable pushbike.

After an introductory talk…


…we walked up onto Hadrian’s Wall via Haytongate along to Banks and to Pike Hill – a Roman signalling station. Here we had an animated discussion which ranged through Hadrian and Septimius Severus, the Stanegate (down across the valley) and the Roman military supply road (a few yards from here) to the Antonine Wall and the Jacobite rebellion.

Pike hill

After our coffee stop at Banks Turret…

coffee stop

…we took stock of the current condition of the former LYC gallery…

LYC gallery

This place has a curious and poignant history. If you’d like to know more, go to lycfoundation.org.  Later we viewed LI YUAN-CHIA’s beautiful tombstone in Lanercost Priory cemetery.

It really was spring-like today, despite the remains of winter…


…I saw my first primrose

1st primrose

Off again down a sunken path, a hollow way, a green lane (we all had names for the ancient paths) where Dave and Nicky argued about the edibility of holly for pack animals. Dave was backed up by others on this point…

sunken lane

By now we had reached the River Irthing…

River Irthing

…and then walked along the track between the farms…

2nd farm

tree in wall

..noting a curious tree in a wall. Then we turned towards the railway before we got to Nether Denton Church.

Nether Denton Church

At the railway crossing the crossing keeper was so blinded by Alan’s vermilion jumper that he attempted to shield his eyes with the gate…

crossing keeper

on we went up a sunken lane…

heather sunken lane

…to a lunch spot with a speed limit…


The rest of the walk whizzed by. Through Low Row, on past Denton Hall to Potscleugh Wood…

Potscleugh Wood

…through the beautiful secluded St Mary’s in the Vale, back to Lanercost.

lanercost churchyard snowdrops

lanercost churchyard

What a varied beautiful walk, in the best of company!