Posted by: Rachel | June 25, 2014

Day 10 – Crosby-on-Eden to Carlisle, and on to Kirkandrews-on-Eden

Milestone at Crosby-on-Eden

Milestone at Crosby-on-Eden. Look how far we’ve walked!

 

The morning was misty and cool as we set off from Crosby-on-Eden, making our way from the milestone through the village and along a short lane before we reached the River Eden, with the occasional waterbird startled by our approach.  The path accompanies the river as it meanders towards the sea, over a brook, past the elegant gardens of Eden Grove, and over the flood defences into a lane.

First view of the River Eden at Eden Grove

First view of the River Eden at Eden Grove

Stopping briefly to admire the distant view of Linstock Tower, a peel tower that was the home of the Bishop of Carlisle until the middle of the 13th century, we walked through the village of Linstock, crossed the M6 and stopped for elevensies approximately where milecastle 64 was situated.  By now the mist had evaporated in the warmth of the sun, but although it was tempting to linger, we decided to press on towards Carlisle and the prospect of an afternoon exploring the castle.

Lodge to Rickerby Gardens

Lodge to Rickerby Gardens

The next section of the trail is easy walking, passing several interesting buildings.  Rickerby Gardens, the estate buildings and chapel for Rickerby House are followed by a lodge in the style of a Greek temple and a folly tower with arrow slits and crenelations on its eight sides.  Finally we passed through a kissing gate to enter Rickerby Park, a huge expanse of fine trees and grass, with an impressive war memorial.  It was at this point that the trail crossed the River Eden via a grey metal suspension bridge, preceded by beautiful wrought iron gates incorporating leaping fishes.

1922 suspension bridge Rickerby Park

1922 suspension bridge Rickerby Park

This was constructed in 1922 as a war memorial at the point where the River Peterill meets the Eden, and there were a few hopeful fishermen on the banks.

Following the River’s course we could now see that we had reached the outskirts of the city, with the distinctive chimney of Linton Tweeds on the skyline. Passing by a golf course we followed the river around a bend, and caught our first sight of the Eden Bridge.  This, we felt, marked our entrance into Carlisle!

The Eden Bridge, near the Sands Centre in Carlisle

The Eden Bridge, near the Sands Centre in Carlisle

A short distance further ahead was the Sands Centre, where we stamped our passports. Though there is a cafe in the modern civic centre, we preferred to walk on for a taste of the historic centre of the City, and walked through the underpass into Bitts Park, where a statue of Queen Victoria stands resplendant in the centre of a carpet of scarlet bedding plants.

Bitts Park monunment to Queen Victoria

What interested us, however, was the castle, still a formidable structure, built of dark red sandstone.  Not surprisingly, the Castle and the City walls were built of stone from the Wall, and date from the reign of William II in 1092.  It We chose to have our lunch there and then crossed over the main road to view the Roman artefacts in the Tullie House museum.  This was only to be a brief visit, however, because we had another section of the trail to walk before the end of the day.  Passing the McVitie’s Biscuit factory, home of the custard cream and many other favourites beside, we returned to Bitts Park and found our way through the long avenues of limes back to the river.

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle

In the shade of the trees is a collection of large red stones, part of the Roman bridge across the Eden at this point which were dredged out of the river.  Carlisle marked the end of Stanegate, the road which ran from Corbridge, and was also the point at which there were two Roman forts.  Luguvalium lies partly under Carlisle Castle, but a second fort, Petriana, covered a huge area up on the nearby hill at Stanwix, accommodating the largest numbers of cavalry forces anywhere in Europe.  As with so much about the Wall and the Roman occupation of this area, the remaining fragments are tantalising.  St Michael’s Church is built directly on top and there was nothing to see that would have made us make a special expedition off the trail.  So we carried on, past the Sheepmount sports fields and the bridge across the River Caldew as it joins the Eden, and on through a more industrial area, with a disused power station and under two railway bridges.  Walking on, the landscape becomes greener, crossing the curiously named Knockupworth Gill and on out into the countryside, and on towards Grinsdale and Kirkandrews-on-Eden. The grazing land alongside the Eden is lush and peaceful, and in the summer sunshine it is hard to imagine that the river often floods in winter, submerging all this area.  Although only a few miles from the centre of Carlisle we were now walking through a landscape in complete contrast to the Victorian splendour of Bitts Park or the industrial riverside.  We found ourselves even more in admiration of the skill of the Roman engineers;  even today there are comparatively few points at which it is possible to cross the Eden.  Three rivers meet at Carlisle (the Eden, Caldew and Pettereril), which is why the floods of 2005 caused such widespread devastation.  Almost the whole distance that we had walked during our tenth day would have been impassable.

Crossing a stream tributary on the approach to Kirkandrews-on-Eden

Crossing a stream tributary on the approach to Kirkandrews-on-Eden

 

Near Kirkandrews-on-Eden

Near Kirkandrews-on-Eden

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Responses

  1. That’s one solid looking milestone! Glad you’ve been able to get closer to finishing the walk, or the write up of it.


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