Tuesday, 12 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - Muncaster meander

Monday was like summer if your closed your eyes, open them and the autumn leaves gave away the time of year. A pleasant day then to talk a meander through the woods past Muncaster Castle  and perhaps investigate the
monument that sits far above the road in the wooded hillside. The skeleton tree on the bend balances it on its branches, squint or click to enlarge, and it is there on the right.  Making our way up through the woods, which appears to be little used, we did not find a distinct path, just a muddle of trees, bracken, brambles and rhododendrons. Nothing like a scramble up a hillside manoeuvring through dense undergrowth, not. Happily after a false hope of reaching our destination it was blocked by fence and barbed wire, we retreated and then headed up in another direction which led us to open space and our object  was in sight.
The monument to Henry VI probably built in the 18th Century. Why and by who I do not know but best guess would be the Penningtons of Muncaster Castle who made many modifications to the castle itself in the 18th Century, and there is a story of their connection to this king. It is said that during the War of the Roses, a conflict  for control of the English crown, Henry VI fled in 1461 after defeat at Towton, the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil.  He arrived at Irton Hall for shelter but the owner was a Yorkist so was refused, again he fled over the fells to Muncaster in Cumberland, where he was discovered in this spot by shepherds who took him to Sir John Pennington at Muncaster Castle, he stayed for some time. When he left in gratitude he gave the family a glass drinking bowl with a prayer that they would prosper as long as it remained unbroken.  This is called the 'Luck of Muncaster' which seems to have worked.  The family are still there, in a line that goes back to 1208.  Wonder who dusts the glass.
The monument is a curious thing, inside there are niches that look as though they once held objects and perhaps in the past it was decorated inside and light flooded in through the small holes.  We left the monument
by, yes a road, who knew that there were a couple of houses further on up the hillside, we strolled down this wondering why we did not notice come up this way.

The morning over, our next destination was
Muncaster tarn, looking marvellously blue and not a cloud in the sky.
Up the hill passing fields to gain
Muncaster Fell and its panoramic views.
As we sat by the heavily concreted trig point on Hooker Crag, the sun beating down, hardly a breeze, the far mountains  surrounding us on three sides and the bays and inlets of the west coast sea on the other, what a magnificent place to be.  The only malfunction was the heat had brought muzzy and fuzzy views.

For multifarious words beginning with M visit ABC Wednesday


Sylvia K said...

Really great, interesting post for the M Day! Loved reading the history! And what a great collection of M words!! Your photos are wonderful! Hope you have a great week!


Granny Smith said...

I enjoyed this hike with you through Muncaster. An interesting bit of history!

Berowne said...

I enjoyed your trip through British history. Hope you'll try mine. :-)

photowannabe said...

Truly a wonderful glimpse of history. Its a beautiful place. I don't think I want to dust that glass anyway.

Roger Owen Green said...

i'm most fascinated by the middle picture that looks like spotlights in the ceiling!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Amy said...

Thank you for taking us with you to such an interesting and picturesque destination. Your photos are exquisite.

Tumblewords: said...

A magnificent journey - I enjoyed every step of it - love the architecture and the shimmering colors.

jabblog said...

This was a lovely journey - thank you for taking us along with you.

Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe said...

A Yorkist refused shelter, Joy? Such malodrous times to be sure.

A memorable and mesmerising meander through marvellous Muncaster and its monuments. x

Gattina said...

Interesting post and a beautiful landscape !

Gattina from the ABC team

Kim, USA said...

Wow this place is amazing!
ABC Wednesday

Kay L. Davies said...

So beautiful. I especially love the tarn, as I have a soft spot for bodies of water.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Canada is a little short on castles to meander through, but some places in Old Montreal come close, and of course we have hills and valleys to spare.

Kay, Alberta

Jingle said...

love the nature images.
cool place to think about and stay and unwind.

Jay said...

I would never volunteer to dust that glass!! Yikes ... the responsibility!

The monument is curious, isn't it? I wonder what it held?

Cheryl said...

Gorgeous photos. Thanks so much for the virtual tour.

Still wondering about who dusts that glass too.