Trespassing To See The King’s Well

It seems a pity that you have to trespass to see the King’s Well, on the edge of Crosby Ravensworth Fell.

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The King’s Well (c) John Bainbridge 2018

But you do… so we did.

Like most Britons, I’m an inveterate trespasser. Of course, if we had the same access legislation that the Scots enjoy, there’d be no need. But we haven’t. All we get are the crumbs from the access table.

Oh, yes, the King’s Well. I can’t discover why it’s called that, though it’s not far from where King Charles II paused for a drink at Black Dub on the Lyvennet Beck. But the well is substantial and my personal belief is that it’s an ancient sacred well.

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White Had Stone Circle (c) John Bainbridge 2018

On our walk last Sunday, we also looked at the White Hag stone circle and revisited Robin Hood’s Grave (now there was a trespasser for you!), where the famous outlaw almost certainly isn’t buried. I like this grave so much I used it in the opening chapters of my Robin Hood novel Villain.

We set out from a quiet Crosby Ravensworth, taking the familiar path up Slack Randy (why is it called that?) and then followed the wall round as it climbed towards the head waters of the Lyvennet.

The White Hag stone circle, which we’d missed on previous trips, is a kerb circle of interestingly large but fallen stones. It’s hidden amidst lank moor grass and not all that easy to see. Very atmospheric, though I suspect some of it – and what I suspect were burial cairns nearby – were filched to provide the stones for the long wall across the fell.

We crossed the Lyvennet and followed the wall round to the King’s Well. Now you do get the feeling that you are not encouraged to visit. There’s even chest-high barbed wire to discourage you getting even close to the wall surrounding the intake. Then you have to get to the other side of the wall to see the well.

As I said, we did…

This fascinating structure is well worth a visit, even though the well-head structure is in a parlous state and has a pallet rammed in the entrance. A poor way to treat something that was important to generations gone by.

Our mild trespass over, we climbed the slope to revisit Robin Hood’s grave. A lonely spot, though not far off the Coast to Coast path.

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Robin Hood’s Grave (c) John Bainbridge 2018

We followed footpaths back to Crosby Ravensworth, via Cross Lodge and then the valley of the Lyvennet to Holme Bridge.

A grand walk in very cold weather.

Crosby Ravensworth Fell is now part of the Westmorland Dales part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Given the National Park status of this area, more should be made of the history around the fell and the access improved.

If you want to read more trespassing adventures, do try my book The Compleat Trespasser, out now in paperback and as an e-book. And if you want to read a fictional account of Robin Hood in this very place, do try my novel Villain. Links below if you want to find out more.



2 thoughts on “Trespassing To See The King’s Well

  1. Interesting that there is a rock pile there at RH’s grave John. Reminds me somewhat of the pile (monument) at Thoreau’s cabin site at Walden Pond. Do people bring stone/rock in honor of the legend?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting, Keith. It’s clearly not a prehistoric burial cairn and it doesn’t appear to be a boundary marker. The gully it is in seems to be a natural hollow way holding an established track. Also, the stones haven’t been filched for the wall not so far away. I don’t know how long the RH legend has been attached to it, so it’s all a bit of a puzzle,

      Liked by 1 person

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