: Dalton-in-Furness to Furness Abbey
14th April 2018
know time is said to pass more quickly as you get older
but it has been so long since our previous stage of
the Cistercian Way that it has now disappeared altogether
from the OS map!
fact it was almost exactly four years ago that we ended
up in Dalton with a rather uncomplimentary comment about
the east end of the town. The report concluded
the west end, with its church and castle, will prove
rather more attractive on the next stage".
it did. The castle, more like a keep really, has
been partially renovated with two floors open to the
public. The upper floor includes a strange set
of creatures that I didn't understand.
conventional were bits of armour and a set of boards
commemorating the work of the artist George Romney (or
George Rumney as he was before he started mixing with
the London toffs).
is buried in the churchyard, his grave being
quite prominent (indeed most of the others
have had their slabs removed and placed
upright against the churchyard wall).
whilst he, presumably, still lies there,
his memorial seems to have been subverted
by that of a descendant who also lies there
and has caused the grave to be inappropriately
we stood there looking, the lady vicar emerged to see
if we needed help. Margaret was surprised to discover
that she knew her. She had previously been vicar
at Levens, officiating at several events that we had
attended, and was also a member of the village book
club which Margaret had briefly attended.
church seemed surprisingly large inside with some fine
stained glass windows but little else taking my eye.
had slipped away quite markedly and we needed to press
on to reach the Abbey. The trail initially is
a bit scrappy through somewhat gypsy-like territory.
However all the warnings about what the Staffordshire
Bull Terrier might do to you evaporated when you met
the poor old dog. Very friendly and out of puff.
we could see the Abbey just a field or two away. The
official path required us to go through a tunnel under
the railway. The trouble was that it was full
of water of unknown depth. Instead we took a more
direct route through a field, under a barbed wire and
climbed up to the gate house track. Almost certainly
a trespass but clearly we were far from being the first.
Talking later to Lucy, the lass who manages the
Abbey, we concluded that this might be a reason why
the Cistercian Way has vanished from the maps.
the Abbey Grounds stands an hotel (although seemingly
just the remnants of an even larger hotel). However
it has been shut for a dozen or more years and is in
a sad state.
the Abbey Grounds, there is a lot to see and absorb.
Superficially in my case, mainly looking for photo
opportunities, but Margaret was diligently following
the rather erudite guide book. We were there a
long time but it passed easily.
return to Dalton we first walked along the road that
circles the Abbey. This must be a great frustration
to English Heritage as it is possible to have a great
view of the Abbey for free.
Bridge was a bit of a surprise. From its historic markings
on the map, I had imagined something rather large
but it was just a small but ancient cart bridge across
bit of a climb took us up a hill nearly as far as Newton.
From the top there was a panoramic view over Barrow
which, although not the prettiest of towns, is not without
interest- the skyline being dominated by the nuclear
back at Dalton we had one more decision to make. Where
to eat? We decided on the Derby Arms at Witherslack.
It was strangely quiet for a Saturday night so
the food came fast, which was just what we wanted and
it tasted good. Which is also what we wanted.
next for the Cistercian Way? Check out this website
in four years time. Hopefully it won't take us that
long this time!
Saturday 14th April 2018
6.8 miles (20.6 cumulative)
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
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