Gelt Woods

Brampton – Gelt Woods

Location : Brampton

Grid Ref : NY 528580


About two miles south of  Brampton is Gelt Woods, a delightful walk, and also an RSPB nature reserve. In the woods is a rock with an inscription carved by a Roman soldier in the 3rd Century.



Hugging the banks of the river Gelt is a most remarkable quarry. This Quarry was chiselled out by Roman Engineers 1800 years ago. The stone was either used to build or to repair the 70 mile long wall built by Emperor Hadrian shortly after 122AD. The wall is the largest Roman Monument in Europe, and has recently been designated a World Heritage Site. Looking at the size and grandeur of this quarry truly brings home just how immense the wall is, and the amount of labour and money it must have taken to build.


All along the cliff face are the marks and chippings left by the quarrymen as they chiselled out the stones for the wall. The chisel marks seem to form a herringbone pattern and the first impression formed is that it is not a quarry but a large temple, it is an awe inspiring place, equally as impressive as the wall itself. And yet almost unknown to the tourist.



The above words and pictures are by Nicola Didsbury.


The East Cumbria Countryside Project has reconstructed some traditional ‘Celtic-style’ round houses, to create two fantastic unusual new bird hides. Vivien Mousdell has created a beautiful sculpture seat, from which you can see both the rock face and the river.


Gelt Woods is also home to a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ nature reserve.


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