ARMATHWAITE CIRCULAR - 3.2.19

IN THE GRIP OF WINTER

Nine walkers started the walk at Armathwaite Bridge as it set off along the banks of the River Eden passing through Coombs Wood and farmland to Ruckcroft.

Between Ruckcroft and Kirkoswald we passed the Cross House Incised Stone a restored  monument near Cross House and the country houses of Nunnery and Staffield Hall. 

This incised stone is described as "a medieval cross, possibly erected by the nuns of Armathwaite Priory circa 1480, and restored during the 18th century." Historic England say this is an "early c18 recutting of an earlier inscribed cross set on a C19 plinth. Red sandstone panel on rubble plinth, with carved cross and inscription Sanctuarium (in older lettering) and 1088 in early C18 lettering."

Pastscape adds that "the pillar may have been a former wayside or boundary cross … it is believed to have been erected … to record the privilege of Sanctuary, supposed to have been granted to them (the Armathwaite nuns) in a forged foundation charter dated 1088."

If the modern hedge wasn't in place, this stone would have fantastic views east to Croglin Water (and the old chapel and Chapel Well) and the River Eden to the south west. There are still views over the old priory site to the south. 

 

Leaving Kirkoswald  along Raven Beck to High Bankhill, Scales Hall , near Renwick and passing along the lower fell to Croft House, Davygill and Croglin Bridge, before returning to Armathwaite  through the hamlet of Dale, Ruckcroft and Coombs Wood .

Total walk distance of 19.2 Miles