BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh

14th October 2009

The headline I really wanted to use was:

Whinging Rent-Boy Deplores Huge Hen

What on earth has a "whinging rent-boy" got to do with anything? I hear you ask.  

Or a "huge hen" for that matter?  

Well, all will become clear in due course.  But I will give you a clue.  It does have something to do with today's objective: Pen-y-Ghent.  And the recent trip to Ingleborough.  And, if you need further inspiration (which is likely), the third of the Yorkshire "Three Peaks".

But, before I say more, I must return to last week's outing, Paths of Glory?, which produced more feedback than any other walk in recent weeks.

A number of people commented on the picture taken on Lank Rigg, reproduced in an amended form on the right, and asked how did I get that effect?

The truth is that the original photo was a disaster. The sun was temporarily obscured but it was still quite bright and the subjects were back-lit.  I just couldn't get a decent exposure.

So I put the version taken on "automatic" into Photoshop, pressed the button for Solarize and that is the result.  I think it works by searching for where a colour is not highly saturated and substituting its negative.

Whatever, it is a somewhat psychedelic effect, reminiscent of a late 1960s LP cover!  BOOTboys: The Album?

BOOTboys: The Album?

Exiled Lancastrian Steve G mentioned having looked for Wainwright's buried treasure when he did the same walk.  No wonder he was unable to find it. AW hid a two shilling piece on Lank Rigg in 1965.  However, it seems that it was found the following year.  For more information see Buried Treasure.

Steve also told the tale of Matty's Bridge, shown on the map as Monk's Bridge, a bit further down the River Calder.  Matty Benn was blind.  Her husband built the bridge and Matty would sit on the edge of it, often knitting, awaiting his return from hunting, regularly with John Peel. The Monks built up the side of the bridge a little for Matty's comfort with the stone left from the monastery. It was named Matty Benn's Bridge with her name being Martha but always known as Matty.

Finally, two ladies in our village, both somewhat older than me, put me to shame by letting me know that they had been on the same walk a couple of week's earlier on their third time round the Wainwrights and they now only have twenty left!

Today's walk hasn't narrowed the gap. John was ready for another tester for his knee and Tony likewise for his cardio-vascular system.  They wanted to follow up their triumph on Ingleborough with the second part of the trio: Pen-y-Ghent.  Pete just wanted to test out his new boots.

The day started with me picking up Tony.  As we were driving along to John’s house, I could hear a beep every four seconds or so.  I asked Tony what it was but he was unable to hear it.  Eventually he confessed that he was wearing a heart monitor on his wrist but was not aware of it making any sound.  He was quite surprised when he put it to his ear to discover the beep.  But then, I can hear a mouse cough at 100 yards, even though I am quite unable to follow a conversation in a pub!  So, for the rest of the journey, I was able to keep a check on whether Tony was still alive.

We met Pete at the Horton-in Ribblesdale car park and after walking past the strange camp site we tried to examine the rather squat St Oswald's Church.  Sadly, however, it was locked.

Strange camp site

St Oswald's Church

Seeking a variation on the direct route used on BB0727, we went a little further south, via Dub Cote with its fine sheep, to pick up the Pennine Way at Churn Milk Hole.  

Another difference from the previous visit was the absence of Mr Strideyman although John was making a good attempt at emulating his pace on the more level stretches.  

The third difference was that we could see very little- the clag was down; it was moist, still and surprisingly warm.

Dub Cote sheep

Unnamed sink

This new route took us past a succession of increasingly large “sinks”- essentially holes in the ground that potentially lead to the cave systems- Milk Churn Hole being of quite significant size.

Milk Churn Hole

The final ascent of Pen-y-Ghent is steep- almost to the point of being exciting although we were unable to see the exposure today. Tony stopped beeping.  Should we have worried? John, who knows about these things, explained that the purpose of the monitor's signal was not to communicate Tony’s continued existence to others but to warn him when his heart rate was outside the “training zone” of 60% to 80% of 220 minus his age.  The silence was testament to him exercising well.

Comitibus: Pen-y-Ghent

Detail from shelter

At the top is a remarkably fine shelter where we had lunch and John taught Tony the secrets of his monitor.  The beep was switched off.

The route down was notable for us being unable to see the limestone needle that got Wainwright so excited (see BB0727 for more information).  

There was more of a breeze, the moistness turned to drizzle and it was much colder.

Pen-y-Ghent summit panorama

Hull Pot

We did, however, find the path to the remarkable Hull Pot.  Just why it is called Hull Pot escapes me but it would be quite easy to fit the hull of quite a large ship into this long, steep and deep depression*.

Hull Pot, note scale from figure at far end


The weather improved somewhat as we continued back down the track towards Horton-in-Ribblesdale, offering a clear(er) view of the hill ravaged by the quarry.  We passed a farmer with his dog, several large sheep and on the trailer to his quad bike, a might fine ram ready equipped with his harness.

Horton quarry

Readying the sheep for the ram!

It reminded me of the late Westmerian farmer and raconteur John Pickthall and his story of when the new vicar came round for dinner, dressed in his waistcoat.  “Evening, Vicar,” said John on opening the door.  “I see tha’s wearing thy tupping jacket!”

A hint of Ingleborough and Whernside!

The clearest view of Pen-y-Ghent

Nearing the end, John asked me to let him know when we had just a half mile to go. When I asked why, he bizarrely compared himself to Paula Radcliffe and explained that he wanted to put in a sprint finish.  A couple of hundred yards later he swept past on the blindside and tried to open up a lead.  His turn of speed would not have disgraced Mr Strideyman, (although probably not Paula) but he came unstuck when the terrain roughened and steepened.  Even so, he was using every trick in the book to try and stop me passing him; blocking me, attempting to trip me with his stick, leaning his 98 kilos on me to push me into the wall.  All to no avail, of course!  What silly old men we are!

On reaching the Pen-y-Ghent café, John insisted on us stopping for a drink.  The tiny and rather dour lady behind the counter was completely flummoxed by the order. One white coffee in a mug, one black tea in a cup, one normal tea in a mug and another tea in a mug for Tony but please could he put the milk in himself?! 

As we emerged from the café, the mist started to lift slightly from the hill and, for the first time, we could almost see where we had been!

The most we saw of Pen-y-Ghent

And so, back to the erstwhile title:

Whinging Rent-Boy Deplores Huge Hen

Just what is its relevance?  

To confess, not a lot really.  I was musing about the origins of the name Pen-y-Ghent.  It doesn't sound English- it would fit better in Snowdonia- but I was unable to find anything about it on the internet.  Then, out of curiosity, I put the names of the Yorkshire Three Peaks (the third, of course, being Whernside) into my Anagram machine and, out of the 2,533 alternatives it produced, Whinging Rent-Boy Deplores Huge Hen leapt out at me as making an intriguing if hugely irrelevant headline.  Of course, you might argue that "Whinging" should have an "e" in it but not necessarily, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language!  

So now you know!  If you guessed it was such an anagram, treat yourself to a big bonus!

Subsequently, I learned that I was right.  Pen-y-Ghent is Welsh. Or to be more precise, the language spoken by the Ancient Britons in Yorkshire was a version of Welsh. "Pen" means hill; "y", the; and "Ghent" may have meant border although the sign outside the Pen-y-Ghent café, suggests "wind".  

If you don't believe me about the Taffy Tykes, see When Yorkshire Was Welsh, which makes a much more apt if less sensational title for this report!

Don, 14th October 2009

* John subsequently advised that "My Wainwright in the Limestone Dales describes Hull Pot as 100 yards long, 20 yards wide and 60 feet deep. It also says that the reward for the effort of getting to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent is an extensive panorama---guess we will have to take his word for that !"


If you want to comment on this report, click on .




Wednesday 14th October 2009


7.2 miles

Height climbed:

1,681 feet


Pen-y-Ghent (Walks in Limestone Country)

Other Features:

Hull Pot, Milk Churn Hole


Don, John, Pete, Tony


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0933.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

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!


E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



BOOT boys

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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
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



If you want to join
he BOOTboys Inter-continental
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.


Home Page









2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys click on Wainwrights

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!



 BOOT boys