|The Thundserstone - a glacial erratic of Shap Granite resting on limestone|
|The Lyvennet near Kings Meaburn|
The Lyvennet rises in the fell country to the south of Crosby Ravensworth.
Apart from a few farms Crosby is the first settlement along the river's course. It is a pleasant village with quite a significant church dating from around 1200 AD. The Church of Saint Lawrence has been described as a cathedral in miniature due to the wealth of architectural features it contains. As testament to the long history of worship hereabouts there are the remains of a 7th century cross in the churchyard.
|Saint Lawrence church|
|I don't know who this chap is|
From Crosby the river flows through pastures to the picturesque village of Maulds Meaburn, possibly one of the most photogenic settlements in the north of England. You come round a bend in the road and there it is: a straggle of houses along the riverside with sheep grazing on the greens.
|looking towards the Pennine escarpment, the East Fellside as it is known|
At Kings Meaburn there is a ford over the river which is very popular with young families as the children can paddle quite safely. Herons often stand here waiting for fish and both upstream and downstream of the ford you may see kingfishers if you’re lucky.
This is what we call ‘the thinking stone’. When you sit on it with your toes dipping in the river you can think about all sorts, except that you don’t. The sound of the water is hypnotic and you find yourself emptying your mind of all the everyday clutter and relaxing into oblivion.
The woods at this point are carpetted with wild flowers. The first to appear are the celandines and anenomies, then primroses and bluebells, followed by campions, water avens, cranesbill, and so it goes through the year
Another path suddenly opens out into this grassy area at the foot of Jackdaw Scar. The scar is interesting because the bottom strata are sandstone with limestone above. It is popular with climbers.
Amazingly there are also apple trees growing by the roadsides. Not just crab apples but proper ones that you can eat. Whether or not they’ve been planted or are seeded from discarded cores I can’t say but they add to the idea that this part of the world is a natural garden.
The Lyvennet has a fairly short journey before it joins the River Eden near Skygarth Bridge. I like that name, Skygarth. A garth is an enclosure and I imagine some ancient inhabitant putting a fence round the clouds. A reflection of heaven on Earth, perhaps.
The Eden is one of the major rivers of England and flows into the Solway Firth to the west of Carlisle. Hey, that’s near where I live. What goes around comes around.