Posted by: Rachel | June 22, 2014

Day 9 – Haytongate to Crosby-on-Eden



We set off in the early morning sunshine from Haytongate, walking along the course of the wall, now only visible from the traces of the ditches.  Having seen the beautiful ruins at Lanercost yesterday, all constructed from wall stones, it’s hardly surprising that nothing remains except the rubble core in places, now part of field boundaries.  The trail follows the road past Low Wall, and at High Dovecote there is a wonderful view across the valley with Dovecote Bridge spanning the river, and St Mary’s Walton rising in the distance.

High Dovecote looking towards Dovecote Bridge and St Mary's Walton

High Dovecote looking towards Dovecote Bridge and St Mary’s Walton

Over the next few miles, there are no longer any Roman milecastles or turrets to be seen, and Camboglanna Fort at Castlesteads lies underneath the garden of an 18th century house.  With the ground much flatter we made good time, walking through Newtown, past the green and on to Whiteflatt,where we sat in the shade of the hedge to eat our lunch.

Signpost at Whiteflatt where we ate lunch

Signpost at Whiteflatt

At this point there is no wall to be seen, just pleasant walking through the farmer’s fields at Cumrenton.  Eventually becoming a hedge-lined footpath, the trail runs alongside Carlisle Airport, with several World War 2 buildings visible as a survival of a critical period in its history.  Passing through the gate at Oldwall, there is an old farm cottage reputedly built in the 17th century from wall rubble, and then modern housing before crossing the road and following the trail through various kissing gates approaching Bleatarn Park.  In the trees is a self-service refreshment box called ‘The Hamper on the Wall’, which proves what an honest bunch walkers tend to be!  Immediately afterwards follows a long stretch of easy walking on a causeway built on top of the wall, at first passing the reed filled Blea Tarn, site of a Roman quarry, and then extending across grazing land.

Blea Tarn Roman Quarry, taken from the causeway

Blea Tarn Roman Quarry, taken from the causeway

The trail follows a farm access road and then a lane at Wallhead, leading to Sandy Lane.  This was peak haymaking time, with farm machinery carrying loads from the fields back to the farms, raising clouds of dust.  We pressed on, hoping for afternoon tea somewhere, and after crossing the A689 we walked through High Crosby and then stopped for a break near the new flood defences at the church of St John the Evangelist.  This was a very pleasant spot, with the village school , the Stag and the old milestone at Low Crosby indicating a busier history before the bypass was constructed.

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