Up The Pipeline
02 : Gressingham to Dalton Crags

14th January 2014

Back to Gressingham for stage two, not fully recovered from stage one!  We were hoping to see rather more evidence of the pipeline.  We would; but we would have to wait quite a while other than just seeing, in the far distance set high on a hill, what the book told us was a “sighting tower”, built to enable the Manchester engineers determine the exact line of the Thirlmere pipeline.

Nice house at Gressingham

Gressingham Church

En-route to the start it rained but fortunately the weather cleared and it would prove to be a less muddy walk than yesterday.  This was a good job as I had mislaid my gaiters thereby leaving my trouser bottoms exposed to mud and Lord knows what else.

We headed north by lane and fields to Storrs Hall.  We could only get a vague glimpse of the building but it seemed rather grand except for the fact that its Monkey Puzzle tree is nowhere near as good as ours.  Smug grin!

Storrs Hall.....

Nice old dwelling

..... and gates

Not so nice old dwelling

More road followed, up Locka Lane to the Red Load cottage, beyond which we stopped for a very late lunch (it had been a very late start).  Just as we were about to set off, two black Labradors appeared, soon followed by their master, a lifelong local resident.  Quite a discussion ensued between him and Ian & Cynthia.  Brora was not with us today (worn out, poor thing) but she too is a black Lab so they had much in common.

Eventually the conversation turned to what were we doing?  The Thirlmere Way we explained.  “Never heard of it!” came the response.  Shades of the Miller’s Way!

Distant view of  Sighting Tower

Nice old Gunnerthwaite farmhouse

Close view of team

Not so nice house at Gunnerthwaite!

Shortly afterwards, poor Cynthia developed a hobble and at Gunnerthwaite opted out of the rest of the stage, phoning instead for a lift.  As she made her way to Lancaster Bank to await her pick-up, she phoned to say that she had discovered something that had so far eluded us:  Thirlmere Pipeline evidence not mentioned in the guide book.  Follwing her instructions, we could just see another tower across the fields.

Gunnerthwaite ducks

Cynthia's distant tower

Our route did soon provide Pipeline features  Nearing the top of a small hill was the aforementioned sighting tower.  They certainly made fine constructions in those days.  No expense spared with the Manchester coats of arms adorning two sides of the solid, dressed stone building.

Ian reaches the Tower

Manchester coat of arms

More Pipeline evidence followed in quick succession.  A locked Pipeline gate in a wall plus an unlocked Pipeline gate not in a wall.  Then inspection chambers and also a Meter House about which Mr Cappelli is strangely silent.

Locked gate in a wall near the Tower

Unlocked gate

Same thing, different type

Unlocked gate

Inspection covers

Meter house

It was by now dusk but fortunately we were not far from the car, which had been left at the Dalton Crags car park.  What should we discover?  My gaiters; left behind from yesterday in Ian’s vehicle.  I can now be well prepared for whatever the weather throws at us on the next stage.

Don, 14th January 2014







5.3 miles

11.4 miles

879 feet

1,413 feet

To see the index and other stages, click on:


The Thirlmere Way




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