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Walking through history in the Lake District

Posted 9 October 2012
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Walking through history in the Lake District
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The Lake District National Park Authority is holding a one-day event in Keswick later this month aimed at showcasing the archaeology of the national park.

It will take place at the Theatre on the Lake on October 21st and will involve the national park's own archaeologists delivering a talk about the traces of heritage that can be found around the area.

This includes the form of ancient woodlands around Windermere, former mills in the Langdale and Grasmere areas, the Coniston copper mines and mountain monuments.

National park archaeology and heritage adviser Eleanor Kingston said: "The Lake District landscape, with its unique combination of spectacular natural landforms modified by thousands of years of human activity, is rich in archaeological remains of many types and periods."

For those whose normal means of exploring the Lake District involves walking boots rather than excavation equipment, there are numerous walks where the human impact on the area over thousands of years can be appreciated.

Walkers in the Keswick area can enjoy a trek over Castlerigg and its Neolithic stone circle, while those fascinated by the Roman period can enjoy a wide range of features.

As well as forts like Galava (Ambleside) and Hardknott, plus the bath house at Ravenglass, there is the old Roman Road of High Street, which reaches its highest point at the top of the mountain of the same name, 2,718 ft up.

This lofty walk offers hikers over 20 miles of fine countryside and panoramic views, with a few detours enabling a number of Wainwrights to be bagged.

Walkers can also enjoy some more modern archaeology in places, such as the old railway line between Keswick and Penrith, now a footpath and bridleway.

Travelling by foot and not by wheels also allows walkers to stop by the A591 roadside and note the huge pile of stones that splits the highway.

Drivers usually whizz past en route to Keswick or Grasmere, but this cairn is in fact the alleged burial place of King Dunmail, the last king of Cumbria, who fell at the battle of Dunmail Raise when seeking to defend his kingdom against invading Scots. ADNFCR-2803-ID-801465861-ADNFCR