Black Fell and a St. James’ Day Peal at St. James’ Church, Barrow

Name of walk Black Fell and a St. James' Day Peal at St. James' Church, Barrow
Date of walk 2014-07-26
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 3 hours 0 minutes
Weather Hot and sunny
Peaks on walk Black Fell/Crag
Walked with On own
Parking Tom Gill car park.

I left home at 6.30am on Friday so I could be back home by lunch in time to be at St. James’ church, Barrow, before the start of the Anniversary Peal, 137 years after the first peal, and the first peal to be rang this century. My plan was a walk up to Tarn Hows from Tom Gill car park do a there and back walk up to Black Fell and a circuit of the tarn. An easy walk of less than 7 miles, which should take me about three hours. Even though I had an early start it was still very hot.


I stopped at Yew Tree Tarn to get a couple of shots of the reflections on the water.



Then returned to Tom Gill car park and the walk through the woods up to Tarn Hows. Tom Gill waterfall with very little water.


Following the path beside Tom Gill.


Tarn Hows. No one here at this hour of the morning!


Now if I had a penny for every time I walked around Tarn Hows.......




Near this seat at the head of the lake is the stile that leads through the bracken to a lane.


View back from the gate into the lane.


The route from the lane into Iron Keld. At the next gate you take a sharp right up on to the start of Black Fell.


View back to Tarn Hows.


It is not far to the summit.


A wheatear making it known that I am trespassing.


I reach the summit cairn before 9am. I have met no one. Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam beyond.


View out to Crinkle Crags and the Langdale Pikes


A closer view of the Langdale Pikes over Lingmoor Fell.


Looking out to Esthwaite Water and the southern cairn.


Dunmail Raise to the Fairfield Horseshoe.


Close up of Dunmail Raise.


Looking down Windermere.


A closer view of Esthwaite Water and the southern cairn.


An even closer view of the southern cairn!


View out to the fells from the southern cairn.


I head back the way I came until I reach the Tarn Hows circuit, where I continue around it. A money stump!



There is a higher elevation on this side of the tarn.



Common Blue Damselfly.



I head down to the water's edge which is teeming with both Dragonflies and Damselflies, mating and egg laying.




I head back down beside Tom Gill to my car.


On the way back home I stop off at Kelly Hall Tarn. It has great views out towards Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man beyond it.


It is also teeming with Dragonflies and Damselflies.




The water lilies are flowering.



I am back home for 12 so I have time for a shower, change and lunch before I head out to St. James' Church for their anniversary peal, and the first peal to be rang this century.


The ringers have come from all over the country. They will be ringing Cambridge Surprise Major. This will consist of over 5,040 changes and will last for 3 hours or more, depending on their ringing speed. This is a very long time to ring for in this heat, without making a mistake. The ringers were Simon Poole, Simon Woof (Vice President of the LACR), Doug and Joe Beaumont (Grandchildren of Jim Burles, former St. James' Tower Captain), John Proudfoot (Carlisle Cathedral), Tom Metcalfe (Tower Captain at Kirkby and Urswick churches), Dennis Ellisdon (Former St. James' ringer and major donator, his home tower is now at St. Giles, London), Andy Pollock (St. James' Tower Captain).


My job, along with Keith Newby and Brenda Pearce, the church warden, was to field questions from visitors coming to hear the peal. There were multiple display boards up in the church. The documentary about the bells, that was make by Furness College, was on a constant loop and being shown on the big screen. Plus the live video feed from the belfry and ringing room was being shown on the TV. The peal was also being broadcast live on the internet. We had a steady stream of visitors all afternoon.


Close-up of the live video feed from the belfry and ringing room.

Thankfully the peal was successful! Rather them than me! I can’t imagine ringing a bell without a break, for that period of time, without losing concentration. The full details of the peal are below:

Lancashire Association

Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

St James the Great

Friday, 25 July 2014 in 2h 49m (12-0-24 in F)

5056 Cambridge Surprise Major        

Composed: C Middleton

1       Simon D Woof

2       Dennis Ellisdon *

3       J Andrew Pollock

4       Thomas F Metcalfe

5       John J Proudfoot

6       Simon J Poole

7       Douglas J Beaumont

8       Joseph St J Beaumont (C)

First peal on the restored bells, rung on the anniversary of the very

first peal on the bells on St James’ day in 1877.

* 400th peal.

Link to Campanophile and RingingWorld

This weekend St. James’ is running bell ringing lessons with sessions on Saturday morning, afternoon. Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm, and Monday morning. All are welcome to come along and have a go.