Pendragon Castle to Moorcock Inn – 8 June 2019
If you head west along the A66 road and turn off at Brough on the A685 road you will come to Kirkby Stephen. Most people will either head further east on the A685 along the northern edge of the Howgills to join up with the M6 motorway at Tebay. Another alternative is to head south-east on the A683 road towards Sedburgh and eventually to the M6. A rare few will take the B6259 from Kirkby Stephen and head south through the Mallerstang valley passing on the way Pendragon Castle and arriving at the Moorcock Inn at the junction of the A684 road. The rare few will be us on this Saturday in June but we will be unlikely to see any dragons and moorcocks might be thin on the ground.
There is a legend that Pendragon Castle was built by Uther Pendragon the father of King Arthur but it is only a legend. There is no evidence of any use of the site until the present castle was built in the 12th century. It changed ownership shortly after being built and was owned by Sir Hugh de Morville, one of the four knights who murdered Thomas Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1170. The knights took refuge in Knaresborough Castle, also owned by Sir Hugh de Morville but they may also have spent some time in the more remote Pendragon Castle.
Two of our routes start from Pendragon Castle, the 10-mile route heads to the west and works it way up the hillside past Little Fell and on to Wild Boar Fell (708 meters). From there it begins a long descent past Swarth Pike Fell and Turner Hill to come out in the valley on the B6259 road not far from the Moorcock Inn. The 8-mile route goes south down the Mallerstang valley, to begin with, but crosses to the east after a couple of miles. It then climbs to Hell Gill Bridge and along the High Way before descending at High Dyke and using a footpath to get to the Moorcock Inn.
The 10.5-mile route starts north of Pendragon Castle on the B6259 road and goes east to west over the River Eden and past the castle before crossing back east over Thrang Bridge. The route then climbs up to the Old Road which merges with the High Way at Hell Gill Bridge. From here the route is the same as the 8-mile route.
The 11-mile route starts even further north at a place called Nateby. The route heads west towards Wharton Hall, which is an impressive 14th-century tower house with a gatehouse and an internal courtyard surrounded by a curtain wall. Further south the route passes another castle called Lammerside Castle, this was built by a branch of the Wharton family By the 17th century the place was getting a bit old and run down so they moved to Wharton Hall and Lammerside Castle fell into ruin. A few miles further on the route passes Pendragon Castle and then crosses Thrang Bridge and follows the 10-mile route to the Moorcock Inn.
The image for this post was taken just after the start f our last walk from Reeth to Aysgarth Falls. It was taken as we crossed the footbridge after leaving Reeth and shows all three groups before we split up into the separate routes.
Garsdale Head Weather
|Walk No. 12||Pendragon Castle to Moorcock Inn||8 June 2019|
|Area: Howgills||Map: OL 19|
8 miles Moderate
Start: Pendragon Castle Grid Ref NY782026
Footpath on west side of River Eden – Shoregill – Thang Bridge – Hazelgill – Ings Head – Hanging Lund – Slade Edge – Pry Hill – Hell Gill Bridge – High Hall – High Dyke – Blades – Moorcock Inn
10.5 miles Moderate
Start: B6259 Road Grid Ref: NY775062
Thringill – Hunger Hills – Carr House – Southwaite – Castle Bridge – Shoregill – Thang Bridge – Boogle Green – Howe Top – Hellgill Wold – Hell Gill Bridge – High Hall – High Dyke – Blades – Moorcock Inn
11 miles Moderate
Whalton Hall – Mire Close Bridge – Round Hill – Sandpot – Shoregill – Thang Bridge – Boogle Green – Howe Top – Hellgill Wold – Hell Gill Bridge – High Hall – High Dyke – Blades – Moorcock Inn
10 miles Strenuous
Start: Pendragon Castle Grid Ref NY782026
Castle Bridge – High Cocklake – Little Fell – High Dolphinsty – Wild Boar Fell (708 meters) – Swarth Fell Pike – The Tongue – Turner Hill – South Lunds Pasture – B6259 Road – Moorcock Inn
Pub: Moorcock Inn Telephone No. 01969 667488