: Luncheon Chez Monty
2nd October 2008
I have been unkind about the BBC. I don’t intend,
on this occasion at least, to be drawn into debate on
the efficiency or otherwise of this state funded organisation.
I was referring to its weather forecasting service
which, in my experience, tends on occasion to be over
pessimistic, possibly as a result of the Michael Fish
incident when the 1987 storm was denied.
today, it came up trumps. It is only 2nd October
but already snow was predicted for the higher tops and
this plus heavy showers elsewhere and a severe wind
chill factor of -12 degrees put us off venturing too
far. Kentmere was mooted but Tony thought we had
done it to death recently as a convenient place to go
and get wet. The BBC forecast for Keswick was
similar to that of Kendal- rain in the morning, heavy rain
in the afternoon. So it was not with any great
hope that I had a look at the forecast for Penrith.
To my surprise, no rain was predicted. I
toyed with the idea of suggesting Cross Fell or Great
Dunn Fell but the thought of the wind chill factor put
me off. Also, Stan needed to get back early. So
with a bit of inspired thinking, I suggested we went
to Keld, then headed towards Swindale with a view to
crossing over to Wet Sleddale sooner or later. Sooner
if it looked as if the weather was closing in, later
if it did not.
must confess that one reason for suggesting this route
was that I wanted to see Sleddale Hall again. On
Bryan and I had not examined Monty’s cottage in the
country (called Crow Crag in the film Withnail
and I). We had waited
under a dripping tree for Stan and Tony to catch us
up from looking at what we then thought was a derelict
was a stunning day as we arrived at Keld, a
stunning little hamlet. I don’t think I have ever
been there before. Certainly I had no recollection
old key to this ancient chantry of Shap Abbey
hangs outside the door of the house opposite, so we
took advantage of it and entered.
is a little 15th century gem. Fortunately the
efforts of some local dignitary to have it pulled down
because he could not get his hay wagon past it were
key to the Chapel
Inside the Chapel
For more about its history see Castle
took the path that leads to Swindale but rather than
drop down into the valley we decided to stay high and
head for the tops on the south side of the valley.
took our team picture at the Cairn on Langhow Pike. By
this time, the sky to the west was getting very dark
and we could see rain showers heading our way. We
decided to cut across towards Wet Sleddale rather earlier
than we might have done otherwise. Fortunately
the showers hardly touched us.
over the Howgills
navigation to Sleddale Hall was slightly awry. Basically
I was heading for the wrong group of trees so we had
to climb up alongside three fields before being able
to drop down to Monty’s hideaway.
Sleddale Reservoir and Sleddale Hall
The Hall was
looking very sad, with windows long boarded up and plenty
of visitors having left their generally rather rude
Country Cottage: Crow Crag, aka Sleddale Hall
One door had a new padlock on it and I
could hear something moving inside. Strange, I
thought, is it a cow or a horse? I moved on to
the front door, which had a panel missing so you could
see inside a little. I put my camera through to
take a couple of flash photos and then backed away.
Bryan called out “How do you get in?” and a head popped
out of the hole in the door and replied “Round the back!”
Monty at home?
round the back we went where we found access via a window
and down a ladder into the back kitchen. Of course,
Monty was not at home; our companion was a visitor from
Dent who had set out with the intention of photographing
the Hall. He observed that we had entered via
Monty’s back passage. Does that constitute burglary?
Sorry, that is an naughty in-joke for anyone who remembers
had a good look round downstairs. It has obviously
been in use! Clothes were hanging in a small room,
there was a Ouija board on the floor in the pink-walled lounge
for calling up spirits and Halloween type decorations in the dining
ouija board and the ghosts
of Crow Cragl
Halloween Dining Room
did not venture too far upstairs as the flooring looked
suspect and we had no light. Why, oh why had I
removed my torch from my sac that morning?
did, however stay for lunch whilst a heavy shower passed
over. By the time we emerged, it was bright sunshine
crossed the fields. passing by some rather dodgy looking
mushrooms, to the Bee Boles seen on BB0812,
and then turned
north over the moor back to Keld.
to be all around but not over us and there was a bright
from Brown Hill
Tony found a golf ball on Brown Hill. That
will be presented to Philip to celebrate
the birth of his grandson, Leo.
made another discovery in Keld- an unusual
likes that sort of thing.
On the drive back to Kendal, we
experienced the worst of the weather.
It was pretty
Thank goodness we had not gone up Kentmere!
2nd October 2008
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0831.
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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- BB0801 :
Avoiding the Graupel;
- BB0802 :
Lyth in the Old Dogs;
Tuesday 22 January
Sunday 27 January
Tony's Memory Lane;
Wednesday 30th January
Thank You Mells
The Langdale Skyline
and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Thursday 21st February
Askham Fell and
the Lowther Estate;
Thanks to the MWIS
Wednesday 19th March
High Street and Kidsty Pike
but no Fairy
Prelude to Spring
Wednesday 2nd April
Spring in Lakeland
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
What's It All About, Tony?
The Hidden Mountain
The Bowland CROW
High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
The Northern Tip
The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
Thunder on the 555
We'll Give It Five
Thursday 10th July
Shelters from the Storm
The Big Wind-Up
Third (and wettest) Alfie
A Visit to Mud Hall
- BB0828 :
The Tale of Randy Gill
: Mosedale Cottage Revisited
: Mist Over Pendle
: Luncheon Chez Monty
Thursday 2nd October
: Escape from the Madness
: Only on a Thursday
: Reflections on Thirlmere
: Reet Grand Randonnées
- 18th November
: Helm, direttissimo
: Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
- BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on