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Jockey Shield, Old Water, Cold Fell, Tarnmonath Fell, Gairs House, Castle Carrock Cumbria.
[18.0 km]  Wed 01 Mar 2017

OS Grid ref: NY 55810 55531
Lat/Long: 54.892550, -02.690482

I drove via the M6 & Castle Carrock to the minor lane by Jockey Shield. There was a length of widened road to allow the parking of several vehicles and presumably this has been done to help walkers as there is nowhere else to park. I set off south along the lane towards Geltsdale Cottages then down the rouch track which zigzags down to the River Gelt. Along the track was a cast iron marker post with indistinct lettering and the ER with a crown. Presumably King Edward.

Cast iron marker 'ER'

Geltsdale Intake building

Keepers House
09:05 reached water intake building called Geltsdale but there are two ways past one seems private with a bridge over the river and the other was around is a ford but no footbridge. A date above the door appears to read co 1906. Adjacent to the intake building is another red sandstone building which was obviously built as a dwelling presumably for the intake keeper but now seems unoccupied but in good condition.
The continuing track climbs up the fell but part appears to have been a new length constructed in the last few years as it is not shown on the map. I crossed a stone arched bridge over Old Water.

Old Water bridge
After the Bridge the track continued uphill and was extremely wet and muddy with the higher section having running water cascading down both sides. With this lack of proper drainage it is likely the track will erode considerably in the future. I reach the point where a waymarked path is shown leaving the track to the left but it is so wet and boggy it is almost impassible.
The old Shooting Hut
I came to the point where a shooting hut is shown on the map but unfortunately there is no sign of it on the ground. There were some remains of a stone structure of sorts but I couldn't tell what it had been. The old map shows a coal mine had been in the area. Nearby was a stone-wall enclosure labelled North West Water and inside some metal manhole covers and the sound of ruching water underneath. I left the enclosure and headed steeply down a very wet and boggy hillside until I re-joined the old track in the valley bottom. It cross a stream buy a ford which was I able to cross without any problems. I followed the track east up the valley of the Old Water river and the path improved slightly as it climbed up. When I came to the side stream of Coldwell Beck where I was to leave the track I came to an old stone building which was probably an old shooting hut.
Looking up Geltsdale
The walls were still up to roof height and it had been a single room structure and the slated roof had collapsed in but the roof beams were still there in the bottom. It had a single door entrance and inside had been a hearth. It must have been quiet cosy when in use and the fire was going. Some snow had started as I was about to leave the old hut so I put my waterproof over trousers on. I headed north steeply up the side of Coldwell Beck and at first the going was relatively easy. I came to an area of large boulders and found an ancient stone shelter amongst them. Presumably this had been used by Shepherds. I was now heading straight up the fell side towards Cold Fell in the distance but I had no sight of it as there was cloud ahead. I continued along the beck until I came to my next objective which the water source called Coldwell Spring on the map.
Coldwell Spring Source

Cold Fell

Cold Fell summit cairn and trig post
It is an issue straight out of the hillside and is crystal clear water. As I continued up it became steeper and harder going as undercoat was part frozen ground and snow. The weather began to deteriorate further with windblown snow and difficult underfoot. Near the summit it was down to -3 degrees centigrade with snow plastered icicles around. I came to the Cold Fell summit trig post and the adjacent large pile of stones. There is also a substantial stone storm shelter but I didn't hang around as it was cold and windy. I reach the nearby fence then turned west to start my descent. It was very wet under foot but considerably easier than the final part of the climb up. I was still in mist and had no views so I followed the fence until I came to a junction where I turned left and then down towards Tarnmonath Fell. The fence shown on the map had long gone and only a few posts remained. Came to a bend in the fence line and started my descent down to the old track.

View towards Gairs
It was here that I descended below the cloud line and had some reasonable views down the valley. I turn right along the track and headed north but it was very bad going due to a lot of standing water on the surface. To my rights were the remains of old mine workings and apparently coal was mined in the area as well. Away in the distance I could see Gairs House which is an old workers house but was quite substantial.
Gairs Viewpoint

Gairs House

The roof being repaired 14 June 2011
When I reach the house it was interesting to see that the roof was completely intact and looked relatively new but all the doors and windows had been blocked up except one window where a hole have been knocked through and giving access to the interior. I continued past the house and turn left down the descent track. It should have been an easy walk but the ground was so wet and puddled up by cattle that the green lane was quite difficult. I had to keep to the edge were undisturbed grass gave better purchase. The final leg which descended down to the River Gelt was a well-engineered stretch of an even gradient with a stone wall below the left-hand side keeping the gradient steady.

High Hyman

Intake Works by the bridge
Unfortunately it was so wet that I had to be extremely careful due to the slippery ground. I reached a refurbished building call High Hyman on my left which was surrounded with a high wooden fence. At the building entrance I was on a reasonable vehicle track which took me to the bridge over the River Gelt. Continuing over I walked steeply up back to Jockey Shield where he had left my car.