BB1307 : The Pinnacle Of Human Spiritual Achievement

Thursday 7th February 2013

John and Mike are cheeky chappies to describe their walk yesterday as by The A Team. It was only conflicting diaries that forced a split outing.  Even today we were constrained by the need for a late start (Roger), an early finish (Martin) and a lift (Tony and / or me), so this was to be just a local walk. Nonetheless, despite the fact that collectively we have lived here for some 200 years, we still managed to find previously undiscovered paths and features.

We might not have climbed so earthly high but we did get close to The Pinnacle Of Human Spiritual Achievement. 

A different kind of path, perhaps?

Starting from Cracalt, we headed down towards the old canal.

On the way I found a puddle with a really unusual ice marking.

In order to photograph it, I tried to remove a leaf from its surface with my foot.

Only it wasn't a leaf and the picture was somewhat ruined!

Not quite what it was!

Along the canal bank we walked to Sedgwick, noting on the way the huge modern bungalow called Passing Winds.  Hope the residents of Sedgwick Hall are not unduly affected.

Passing Winds, left, and Sedgwick Hall, right

At the end of the village we turned left, up the hill to the seat that enjoys a panoramic view over to the Lakeland hills.

Comitibus :  Above Sedgwick

Distant Howgills

Over Kendal to Kentmere Fells

Down and across the railway- no steamers today, just a head-on collision.  Seemingly!

Brace yourself, Myrtle!

No maize maze either but that is hardly surprising at this time of year.  

We dropped down into Stainton, close by a farm known as Dreamland which, according to Wiccapaedia, is a lovely land that exists only in the imagination.

I had always thought Stainton a lovely village but there we made three discoveries of dereliction.

First, before crossing St Sunday's beck was a derelict barn with several old items therein, the most interesting being a small boat named "WITHOUT A PADDLE TURN RIGHT UP THE CREEK".

Tony spots an opportunity

.... without a paddle

On the other side of the beck is an old roadside cottage that has been partly destroyed by fire.

The fire ruined cottage

It had been lived in by an unusual man who could regularly be seen pushing his bicycle into Kendal, laden with mysteriously filled plastic bags and then later reversing his journey with more mysteriously filled plastic bags.  The house had been reputed to be full to the gunnels with of all sorts of items.  Outside were the half buried remains of several old books.

The kitchen

The library

Further along is the STATION CHAPEL URC, which is in slightly better condition, but only just.  By the north-east wall are a few old tombstones.

Yet another opportunity?

Room with a view or room with a tomb?

It seems odd that such nice small hamlet should have three abandoned buildings. Clearly my vision of Stainton was Dreamland but the waking reality ain't quite there.

Tony's body clock was malfunctioning.  It was a whole two minutes early in demanding his noon lunch stop.  Naturally we punished him, making him wait until we had tried to see something of Summerlands.  First we had a wander round the road of modern(ish) houses, which we understood to have been built for distressed seamen.

There was a plaque outside two of them confirming, for those two at least, these were financed by the citizens of the Isle of Man to ".....provide harbours of rest and peace for seamen no longer able to go to sea....".  Whether they remain so is another matter. I was going to clarify by explaining I meant the "they" to refer to the buildings not the seamen but maybe both are relevant?

There was no way through to the Hall so we then visited the small trading estate that appears to have been built around the old stable block, or at least its clock.  A view of the Hall was possible but not access thereto.

Restaurant and garage

Summerlands Hall stable tower

Summerlands Hall from the trading estate


Summerlands Hall was built in 1846 for the then Mayor of Kendal who, according to the BBC Your Paintings website might have been either Cornelious Nicholson, Mayor of Kendal (1845–1846) and author of "The Annals of Kendal" or Samuel Whineray, Mayor of Kendal (1845–1846 & 1848–1849).

A picture of each hangs in Kendal Town Hall where it ought be possible to unravel these seemingly contradictory attributions.


Later the Hall became a convalescent home for merchant seamen but was converted into private hands in the 1970s.

It was on the market in 2008, the sale particulars still being on the internet:

See Summerlands Hall for fuller details.

What the brochure failed to explain is that, to the believers, Summerland is the Pinnacle of Human Spiritual Achievement which means that it is the highest level, or sphere, of the afterlife we can hope to enter.

Summerlands Hall

We could punish Tony no more for fear of him being taken into the after life, so we had lunch in a delightful (not really) little corner at the back of a disused industrial unit.

More afterlife (or not) was relevant to our next target- the Crow Hill Quaker Burial Ground, of which the others were unaware.  Even Tony!

This is set back a field or two  to the east of Summerlands and is a small,walled piece of land, seemingly with only two grave stones and neither of these of typical plain and simple Quaker style.  But Quakers didn't always use headstones, preferring to avoid vain monuments.

Thereafter, we wandered over Crow Hill to see a small tarn, round to Birkrigg to see a larger one over which Tony's club had once contemplated obtaining fishing rights, then over minor roads and fields

Crow Hill tarn

The Punch Bowl

Birkrigg Tarn

We had contemplated returning over Helm but time was pressing and the Punch Bowl was calling.

One quick pint then back down the lanes to home.  

Maybe the outing did not quite live up to it billing of The Pinnacle of Human Spiritual Achievement but home was definitely a welcome harbour of rest and peace.

Or, in more familiar terminology, it was time for a snooze!

Don, 7th February 2013




Thursday 7th February 2013

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Stainton, Summerlands, Quaker Burial Ground


Don, Martin, Roger T, Tony,



BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1307

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