Keld, Swinner Gill, Rogan’s Seat, Stonesdale Moor.

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Swinner Gill valley.

THIS ROUTE IS NOT A WALK, IT IS A NAVIGATIONAL EXERCISE HIKE. MAP AND COMPASS SKILLS REQUIRED.

Hike video: https://youtu.be/B1HEuqNmiLk

GET THE ROUTE HERE!

Start/finish: Car park at Keld (£2 All day), NY 8924 0121
OS Explorer Map: OL 30
Sat Nav: DL11 6LJ

Public transport: Please see following website for times for the 30 bus from Richmond to Keld: http://www.getdown.org.uk/bus/bus/30-d.shtml

Accurate distances and grid bearings can be downloaded as a 2 sided route card PDF (front.pdf and keld.pdf): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8yyjut6h1oysxno/AACIquF0OL0w5rtWiOvyGDWha?dl=0

This hike near the northern boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, has five grid bearings across sections of trackless open access land. The hike starts at Keld, and heads east alongside Swaledale, before turning north and traversing the impressive Swinner Gill valley and East grain tributary. The hike then rises gently on good track up to Rogan’s Seat, which is the highest point of the walk. About 800 m north of Rogan’s Seat, at a vehicle turning point five grid bearings are then taken across Stonesdale Moor via a cairn and features on Long Shot Gill to meet the Pennine Way. From here the Pennine Way heads south beside West Stones Dale, back to Keld, within sight of Lovely Seat, Great Shunner Fell, Little Shunner fell and Robert’s Seat.

This hike crosses a lot of trackless open access land, hence, map and compass skills are required. You should also know your pace count. Recommended for experienced hikers.

Keld is a small village in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated in Swaledale, in Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The place name comes from the Viking word Kelda, which means a spring. Keld acts as a junction between two long-distance footpaths, at the head of Swaledale: the Coast to Coast Walk (C2C) and the Pennine Way.

Crackpot Hall ruins are situated roughly a mile east of Keld on the northern slope of Swaledale (in between attack points 3 & 4). There has perhaps been a building situated on this site since the 16th century; a hunting lodge was maintained there for Thomas, the first Baron Wharton, who would visit Swaledale occasionally. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority performed survey work, showing that the building has changed many times over the centuries. The current ruins are the remains of a farmhouse dating from the middle of the 18th century. Crackpot Hall may have also been used as mining offices, as there was much lead mining in the area. The current farmhouse was abandoned in the 1950s due to subsidence.

A story from the 1930s by Ella Pontefract and Marie Hartley told of a wild 4-year-old child living at Crackpot Hall, called Alice. BBC Radio 3, in 2015, presented a documentary in the Between the Ears strand titled ‘Alice at Crackpot Hall’.

‘Crackpot’ is said to be a Viking word meaing “a deep hole or chasm that is a haunt of crows”.

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Fig 1. Crack Pot Hall.

There was a rich history of lead mining in the Swaledale mountains. The landscape of the valleys and slopes are scarred with the ruins of mines and shafts. A valley near Keld, called Swinner Gill, was such a location where mining had a big impact on the landscape. Swinner Gill valley is rugged and remote, with steep slopes and it takes much exertion to explore. The water in the gill flows from its source on Rogan’s Seat, southwards to the River Swale, cutting through varying layers of sandstone and limestone. As a result there are several waterfalls on the gill. As they are raw waterfalls, there is not much vegetation surrounding them, the rare tree or grasses fighting for their survival in the harsh environment.

Rogan’s Seat is a flat and barren hill situated near East Stonesdale and Gunnerside Gill, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is a high plain of moorland stretching alongside Swaledale, Swinner Gill and Gunnerside Gill. It is the 17th highest fell in North Yorkshire, along with Great Knoutberry Hill, at 672 m. The views from Rogan’s Seat are not spectacular, although Great Shunner Fell, Ingleborough and Whernside can be seen in the west.

Stonesdale Moor is a barren and remote moorland situated between Tan Hill and Keld, in the northern section of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Five grid bearings are taken across it, via a cairn and features on Long Shot Gill.

There are 29 species of birds found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, from curlew to cuckoos and lapwings to linnets.

Directions

(Images under waypoints tab on ViewRanger).

1. Attack point 2 is 500 m away; head east out of the car park at Keld (see image) to a public footpath and continue down to the footbridge crossing the river Swale at attack point 2.

2. Attack point 3 is 925 m away; go over the footbridge crossing the river Swale at attack point 2 (see image), turn left and follow a path up hill to a public footpath sign near a waterfall, turn right at the sign and head east to a fork in the path at attack point 3.

3. Attack point 4 is 950 m away; at the fork in the path at attack point 3 (see image), leave the main path and take the rocky path on the left. Continue passed Crack Pot Hall, on a thin path which bends north and passes through Swinner Gill valley all the way to a footbridge near Swinner Gill Kirk at attack point 4.

4. Attack point 5 is 1.55 km away; cross the stone footbridge (see image) at attack point 4, and continue east ascending the valley of the tributary East Grain. At the top of East Grain, cross over the gill to join a proper path and continue east on the path to a junction at attack point 5.

5. Attack point 6 is 1.45 km away; at the junction in the path at attack point 5 (see image), turn left and take the path heading north all the way to a sharp left bend in the path at attack point 6.

6. Attack point 7 is 550 m away; after the sharp bend in the path at attack point 6, follow the path heading north again (see image) to some piles of stones at the summit of Rogan’s Seat at attack point 7.

7. Attack point 8 is 800 m away; at the piles of stones on the summit of Rogan’s Seat at attack point 7 (see image), continue north on the track bending round left to a circular vehicle turning point at attack point 8.

8. Attack point 9 is 500 m away; at the circular vehicle turning point at attack point 8 (see image), take a grid bearing of Green Gill, which should be about 351°, convert to magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces to Green Gill at attack point 9. On the way you may pass some very large rocks.

9. Attack point 10 is 200 m away; at Green Gill at attack point 9 (see image), take a grid bearing of the cairn at attack point 10, which should be about 351°, convert to magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces to the cairn.

10. Attack point 11 is 500 m away; at the cairn at attack point 10 (see image), take a grid bearing of where Long Shot gill crosses with the fence at attack point 11, which should be about 336°, convert to magnetic bearing, and march on that bearing, counting your paces to where Long Shot gill crosses with the fence at attack point 11.

11. Attack point 12 is 600 m away; at where Long Shot gill crosses with the fence at attack point 11 (see image), take a grid bearing of a junction or fork in Long Shot gill at attack point 12, which should be about 322°, convert to magnetic bearing, and march on that bearing, counting your paces to the junction in Long Shot gill at attack point 12.

12. Attack point 13 is 550 m away; at the junction or fork in Long Shot Gill  at attack point 12 (see image), take a grid bearing of the start of a track at attack point 13, which should be about 314°, convert to magnetic bearing, and march on that bearing, counting your paces to the start of the track at attack point 13.

13. (Note this attack point is misidentified as attack point 14 on video). Attack point 14 is 870 m away; at the start of the track at attack point 13 (see image), continue north west on the track to a junction with the Pennine Way and footpath sign at attack point 14.

14. Attack point 15 is 1.85 km away; at the footpath sign and junction with the Pennine way at attack point 14 (see image), turn left and follow the Pennine Way south all the way to a sheep fold near Lad Gill at attack point 15.

15. Attack point 16 is 1.05 km away; at the sheepfold near Lad Gill at attack point 15 (see image), go through a gate and continue south to the abandoned farm buildings of High Frith at attack point 16.

16. Attack point 17 is 600 m away; at the abandoned buildings of High Frith (see image) at attack point 16, go through a gate and continue south to other side of High Frith near Frith Lodge attack point 17.

17. Attack point 18 is 740 m away; at the other side of High Frith at attack point 17 (see image), continue south on the path to a water works at attack point 18. On way you will pass a sign post and fork in the path, ignore the main track leading to Frith lodge, and keep right on the grass path, following the Pennine Way south to the water works at attack point 18.

18. Attack point 19 is 750 m away; at the water works at attack 18 (see image) continue south on the Pennine Way to a gate and wall at attack point 19.

19. Attack point 20 is 600 m away; at the gate and wall at attack point 19 (see image), continue down to a farm called East Stonesdale at attack point 20.

20. Attack point 21 is 200 m away; at East Stonesdale (see image) at attack point 20, continue through the farm and down a track for 200 m to the Waterfall and bridge crossing the river Swale at attack point 21.

21. Attack point 22 is 500 m away; go over the bridge crossing the river Swale at attack point 21 (see image), and continue west on the path back to the car park at Keld at attack point 22.