There is something to be said about being totally isolated and away from any technology. And so it was when we went to visit good friends Chris and Sue. They lived in a renovated Forge (all done by themselves) in a small hamlet at the bottom of a valley, about 15 miles from Carlisle. No phone signal and no internet, although TV was good, quite surprisingly. Probably because where MB was parked on on their land was way above the house.
|The barn to the left, MB at the top of a long drive and the house far beneath.|
During our stay Chris took us to Lanercost Priory where in the 11th century the first religious order of men in the Roman
Catholic Church combined clerical status with a full common life. They were known as Augustinian Canons.
We have been to many Priories during our stint away from FS, each with its own merits. This one had a unique way of bell ringing as well as tombs, in remarkable condition, and nothing like any seen in others Priories. I took this excerpt from the history of Lanercost.
Like most monasteries, Lanercost served as a mausoleum for its founders and their successors – members of the Vaux, Multon, Dacre and Howard families. Many of their tombs still stand in the roofless eastern end of the church.
On the top photo, you may just be able to see the rope hanging down. The bottom photo shows the pully system, the end of the rope and the hole in the wall (R) where it enters the church.
As the afternoon was still young Chris then drove us to Carlisle Castle.
As magnificent as it looked, it was sadly lacking in information boards. There were rooms leading from halls, but what were they for? And sadly, the third floor of the Keep was shut off because of crumbling masonry. This allegedly housed the Bonnie Prince Charlie story and would have been interesting if only we could have viewed it. But like all Castles some of the stories were fascinating. In the dungeons, prisoners were kept so thirsty that walls were licked for the moisture, and graffiti was present on doors and walls made by bored men on guard duty.
What Carlisle Castle did have was the Military Border Regiment Museum which relates the history of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment, the Border Regiment and the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and local Militia. Now this was a fascinating place full of military uniforms, weapons, medals and silver dating back 300 years. Unfortunately, I was that engrossed, I forgot to take any photos.
By now time was getting on, and Carlisle Cathedral was but a short walk from the Castle. We didn't dawdle on route, but we were still too late to see inside. The exterior was pretty impressive and a return visit will be on the cards later this year so we can go and see the interior. This, I have been reliably informed, is a spectacle in its own right.
On Saturday, we left Cumbria and headed for home. The weather was set to turn nasty and to tell you the truth, trying to find a site to take MB was getting beyond a joke. Wild camping is great until water is required and loo cassette need emptying. Then it's a constant worry about finding somewhere to take you in. Also, we noticed more and more car parks had little or no space for a motorhome, especially in the smaller towns and villages. Trying to shop at a Co Op in Brampton, we ended up going along Union Lane and was horrified to find a 6' 6" width restriction. We couldn't go back, cars behind us, so all we could do was breath in and hope for the best. We made it, but by the skin of our teeth!
It took all day to do the 200 miles home. Several comfort stops and lunch of course and at one point the weather was so bad, deciding to sit it out was the best bet.
This will be the last post for a while. With school holidays in a couple of weeks and knowing the staycationers will be out in force on the canals, we have decided to stay at Langley for the summer. FS is due to be dry docked end of August and we will probably go away with MB in September. Maybe October then will be the right month for us to cruise the canals. I think we will just wait and see.