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The Howk, Caldbeck.

May 13, 2010

Another dry day in the Lake District, almost expected now, who would have thought it. We decided to forget the problem of having no water supply and head up to Caldbeck for a walk around The Howk. Possibly not the best choice as what is usually a raging waterfall was a mere trickle, but still pleasant in the sunshine.

The Howk Caldbeck

An easy walk from the centre of Caldbeck the limestone gorge has attracted romantic names such as the fairy kettle and fairy kirk.

Looking down river.

The vegetation in the gorge is typical of a limestone woodland and includes rare ferns such as the Shield fern.

We walked on down to the old Bobbin works.

The Howk Bobbin Mill Caldbeck.

The Howk was one of the most northerly of more than 100 bobbin mills in Cumbria.The fast flowing rivers of the Lake District (well normally!) being ideal as a source of power for the mills.

Old Bobbin Mill Caldbeck.

At one time Lakeland mills accounted for about half the bobbins produced in Britain. The Howk mill also made handles for picks, washing dollies and cartwheel spokes.

Coppice Shed, The Howk

Hardwood coppiced from around Caldbeck was stored in this large two storey coppice shed. The mill made bobbins for the textile industry from 1857 until 1924. It had the largest waterwheel in the country which was 3 feet wide and 42 feet in diameter. It must have been quite a sight when it was working.

Bobbin Mill Caldbeck

Caldbeck was named after the river “Cold Beck”. A famous past resident was John Peel of hunting fame, who is buried in the churchyard. A more recent resident is the climber Sir Chris Bonington.

Wild flowers in the gorge

We headed back towards the village through a delightful scene of bluebells and other wild flowers. This is also a red squirrel area, although we didn’t spot any this time.

Squirrel sign

Back in the village we were not the only ones enjoying a bit of the spring sunshine.

Enjoying the sunshine, Caldbeck.

Caldbeck situated in the Northern Fells of the Lake District is a very picturesque village with a village green, good pubs and pleasant walks. Unlike some places in the Lakes there never seems to be a problem finding somewhere to park.

Caldbeck Village

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