Road from Dockray towards Ullswater copyright Paul Reynolds

Eastern Lake District

High Street Roman Road

If ‘High Street’ makes you think of shopping, think again! This is a 2,000 year-old road built by the Romans to link their forts at Brougham near Penrith and Ambleside. It’s believed to follow the line of a much older, prehistoric track. The highest fell it crosses is named after the road. On some stretches you can see kerb stones and patches of metalling. Part of route managed by the National Trust.

Location: Grid ref NY425060- NY490244. Whole route is 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from Ambleside to Penrith.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see High Street Roman Road Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

High Street copyright Val Corbett

Cockpit Stone Circle

Cockpit Stone Circle copyright Charlie Hedley

High above Ullswater, the windswept upland known as Moor Divock is scattered with prehistoric monuments. The Cockpit is one of the most impressive. It’s a circular stone bank, 27 metres (90 feet) across, with larger stones set into its inner face. Like all stone circles, its original purpose is a mystery. It may have been for rituals and gatherings, or a sign of land ownership.

Location: Grid ref NY482222. 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) south west of Askham. Fairly steep walk from Askham or Pooley Bridge.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Cockpit Stone Circle Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Dalemain Historic House

Dalemain House copyright Dalemain Estate

The Dalemain Estate includes a splendid house, gardens, a deer park and tenant farms. Documents tell us that a fortified ‘pele’ tower stood here in the twelfth century. A spiral staircase is all that survives of this early building. Dalemain became a manor house in Tudor times, and the Georgian façade was added in the mid-eighteenth century. It’s been the home of the Hasell family since 1680. The house and garden are open to visitors: (opens in new window). Entry charge.

Location: Grid ref NY477268. Off A592, 5 kilometres (3 miles) south west of Penrith.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Dalemain Historic House Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Myers Head lead mine

Myers Head lead mine copyright LDNPA

This small mine was worked for less than 10 years in the 1870s, until the miners broke into a cavity and the shaft was flooded. But unsuccessful mines are often the best preserved. You can see the pit that once housed a massive water-wheel, and the stone pillars that supported the wooden ‘launder’ or chute,  which carried water to drive the wheel. Managed by the National Trust.

Location: Grid ref NY415127. Just outside Hartsop, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) south of Patterdale, off A592. Limited parking near site.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Myers Head lead mine Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Haweswater Dam

Haweswater Dam copyright LDNPA

Built in the 1930s, this was Britain’s first concrete buttress dam and the highest in the country. Hundreds of unemployed workers from Manchester were hired to build it. They lived with their families, in Burnbanks, a model village with prefabricated houses and state-of-the-art community facilities.

Location: Grid ref NY502157 - NY503155. 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) west of Shap.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Haweswater Dam Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Shap Abbey

Shap Abbey copyright LDNPA

These lonely ruins are the remains of the once-powerful Shap Abbey. Built around 1200, it housed a thriving monastic community. The church, chapter-house and living areas were grouped around a square cloister. Outside are traces of guest rooms, stables, workshops and the Abbey mill. Henry VIII closed the Abbey in 1540 and it slowly decayed. Some of its stone was used to build Shap Market Hall. Managed by English Heritage.

Location: Grid ref NY548153. Off A6, 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) west of Shap.

Featured in our Rocks, routes and rivers leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Shap Abbey Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Dacre monastery

Eighth century strapend found during Dacre excavations copyright LDNPA

Stone cross fragments, massive re-used building blocks, and finds from an excavation in the 1980s all suggest there was a monastery here in Anglo-Saxon times. Also the Venerable Bede, writing in 700 AD, refers to a monastery ‘near the river Dacore, from which it took its name’. Look for the cross fragments in the twelfth century parish church, built on the same site.

Location: Grid reference NY460266. On minor road off A66, 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) south west of Penrith. Limited parking in Dacre.

Featured in our Talking to the past leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Dacre monastery Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

White Raise Cairn

White Raise Cairn copyright Charlie Hedley

You’ll easily spot this burial mound on Askham Fell. Standing 1.8 metres (6 feet) high and 22m (72 feet) across, it’s the most visible of a clear line of cairns and standing stones. Excavations in the nineteenth century found human remains in a stone-lined grave inside the cairn. Stone burial mounds are typical of the uplands in the Bronze Age.

Location: Grid ref NY488224. 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) south west of Askham. Fairly steep walk from village.

Featured in our Stories in stone leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see White Raise Cairn Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

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Created with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund