Lamplugh

Grid Ref : NY 088208
 

The view towards the Lamplugh fells from Rowrah.

Lamplugh is a scattered community and civil parish on the edge of the Lake District National Park.
It is the starting point for a number of walks, and is on the Sea to Sea Cycle Route

 

Looking over Cogra Moss tarn towards Blake Fell (centre) and Knock Murton (right).

Cogra Moss is an artificial water retained by a substantial dam across Rakegill Beck, created as a reservoir about 1880, and discontinued as a public water supply in 1975. It has a pleasant setting surrounded on three sides by Forestry Commission planting on Lamplugh Fell and Knock Murton. There is a small roadside car park at Felldyke, from which there is a good bridle path some half a mile long to the Tarn.

 

A few miles from Lamplugh towards Cockermouth is Mockerkin Tarn, which in summer has a wonderful display of white and yellow water lillies.

 

St Michael’s Church is the only original Lakeland example of architecture by William Butterfield, with stained glass windows byCharles E Kempe. It has a stone topped alter which is rare due to their being considered pagan, and has been mostly removed.

 

A little way from the church between Lamplugh Mill House and Mill Gill Head, stands a Corpse Cross, on which coffins would be set after having been carried anything up to twelve miles, to give the bearers a rest.

 

The earliest inhabitants of Lamplugh probably belonged to the Neolithic, Bronze and early Iron Ages. The remains of one of their stone circles were still standing until the 19th century, in what is now known as School Field, beside Lamplugh school.

 

The entrance to lamplugh Hall.

One of the earliest properties is the manor house, Lamplugh Hall, of which most exists today apart from the pele tower that was erected after the ravages of Robert the Bruce. It was apparently demolished in 1820 to provide building stone. Lamplugh Hall can be seen through the impressive arch beside the church. The date on the coat of arms of John Lamplugh says 1595.

 

Up until the iron boom, Lamplugh had always been a primarily agricultural area with local industries supporting this.

 

There were numerous lime kilns in the area with remains of one at the site of Stockhow Hall quarry near Kirkland.

 

The West Cumbrian Iron boom of 1850-1880 had a profound affect on the Lamplugh area which had good deposits of both limestone and iron ore.

 

In the 1850’s, trenches and horizontal drifts were started in Harris Side on Murton Fell, with their spoil heaps still visible above the course of the old railway line whose embankment is still clearly visible. Much larger spoil heaps towards Keltonfell Top mark the location of Kelton mine where three shafts were sunk.

 

The 3½ mile long Kelton Fell Railway was constructed from Rowrah, and served several mines and quarries on the way to the end of the line at Knockmurton. It opened in 1877 and closed in 1926, andt was operated by William Baird and Company of Glasgow, Scotland.

 

Kelton Fell Locomotive No 13 0-4-0 Saddle Tank Loco, built by Neilson & Company Glasgow in 1876, was used on the Kelton Fell railway, and was still in use by the NCB at Gartshore Colliery until 1968. It is now preserved at the Scottish Railway Preservation Society at Falkirk. See photos of the ‘Kelton Fell’ steam engine.

 

Nearby is Rowrah Stadium, a karting track situated in the old Kelton Head limestone quarry. The track measures 1,040 metres long and it is used for several major UK karting championships.

 

‘Many of the properties in this parish have ‘ley’ (meaning grazing land, pasture, pastureland) as part of their name – eg Low Lees Farm, The Lees, Kelton Lees.
 

 
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