BB1008 : In Memory Of Thomas Williamson

Thursday 25th February 2010

It was a masterpiece of timing, if not of navigation!  With dire threats of blizzards, white-outs and avalanches on the higher fells, we thought it prudent to elect for the "murk and persistent hill fog" of the lower hills.  After a brief debate, Bryan and I agreed that we should go to Staveley then visit Williamsonís Monument in the course of a circuit of the lower Kentmere valley.

Actually it didnít seem such a bad day when we parked at Barley Bridge- there was less murk on the tops than last week (BB1007).  We wondered if we had made the right choice?  Nonetheless, we headed up the A591 to High Reston Farm, then turned north up a bridle path.

Looking down on the A591

We made a bit of a bloomer once past Raw Ghyll.  Having climbed up through a knobbly field, I suddenly noticed, on a hill away to our left, a very large cairn.

Barley Bridge

High Knott and Williamson's Monument

At first we thought it was another monument but after failing to find one on the map, the truth dawned. It was Williamson's Monument.  Perhaps we had been gassing too much or maybe just following the tracks on the ground rather than thinking where we were going. Whichever, we were not where we were supposed to be.  

Unconcerned, I could see a fairly direct route across several fields to get there. The first two kindly provided gates (albeit with now illegible warnings) but the third was surrounded by high barbed wire on both sides of the wall.  

However, there was a little knoll that would have delighted Steve McQueen, had his motorbike been handy.  A quick turn round, rev up and over we go, Great Escape style.  

I was planning on doing the walkerís equivalent but Bryan pointed out that our legitimacy was in some doubt; this was probably not Right to Roam land and were we to be challenged by a farmer, it would be better to have an audit trail of gates opened rather than walls climbed. That meant a rather frustrating detour back to the path.

Beware of what????

The route blocked by field walls

Even when we reached the farmstead known as The Heights where a track to the monument could clearly be seen, Bryan was questioning whether we had the right to be going there.  However, having come this far, I was not for passing by.

The Heights

Comitibus: Williamson's Monument

It was an easy climb and you could see why the spot had been chosen in 1803:

In Memory of Thomas Williamson,
of Height in Hugil, Gent.
who died Feb. 13. 1797.
Aged 66 years.

According to Wainwright, the cairn was built by the Reverend T Williamson in memory of his father, who used to climb to High Knott every day before breakfast.  That is understandable.  It is a fine viewpoint with an exceptional outlook over the Kentmere valley

The view of Kentmere from Williamson's Monument

We returned to the bridle path, which we followed across the moors above Kentmere Tarn.

Kentmere Tarn

Dropping down to.....

..... Kentmere Hall and Pele Tower

Dropping down to Kentmere Hall with its rather fine 14th Century Pele Tower, we were looking for somewhere to stop for lunch so we headed for St Cuthbert's - in our experience there are always seats in churchyards.  

However, in Kentmere you donít even need to go that far- there is a very convenient one jacross the road from the church with a pleasant view over and down the valley.

St Cuthbert's Church

A fine set of horns

Aware that bad weather was imminent we decided to take the easy way back, along the west side of the valley bottom.  It started to rain as we repassed Kentmere Hall but this didnít last long.  We passed some sheep with mighty fine horns.  

When we reached the works at Kentmere Hall Plantation, we were puzzled as to why there were marquees outside the buildings.  Used for storage, they are presumably a cheap (and possbily planning-free) way of creating more storage space.

As we strode along the back road, we could see Williamson's Monument clearly on the skyline.  It is strange that we had never noticed it before.

Why the marquee?

The monument as seen from the road

It remained mostly dry until we reached the car and then the heavens opened with nasty, heavy, spiteful rain.  Thank goodness we hadnít been seduced onto the higher fells.  It would have been evil up there.  As it was, it had been a masterpiece of timing!

Don, 25th February 2010


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25th February


12.2 miles

Height climbed:

1,507 feet

Wainwrights (Outlying Fells:

High Knott

Other Key Features:

Kentmere, Williamson's Monument


Bryan, Don

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1008.

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!


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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 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!

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2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April




BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February





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!