Category Archives: Local interest

Copt Howe boulder-A

Beneath the tree to the left is a group of large boulders of volcanic ash deposited by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. It stands between Great Langdale Beck and the road that leads west to the axe factory at the Pike of Stickle, amongst the Langdale Pikes seen in the distance. On the eastern face of the rock are a complex series of carvings that consist of several groups of concentric rings with some linear grooves and groups of micro-cups.

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What is amazing is that despite the fact that the boulder is popular with climbers and the whole area popular with walkers and holiday makers these late Neolithic or Bronze Age carvings were not recognised as such until as recently as 1999.

(Gavin Parry 2003)
It is thought that this site was linked in some way with the nearby axe factory; the Langdale Beck valley would have made an easy route eastwards for the transportation of the axe blanks and it could even be the case that the carvings represent a stylised map of the peaks and features of the area.

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Phil’s painting of the boulder is currently on display until 6th September at the     Lake Artists summer exhibition, at The New Hall, Grasmere.


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Metal leaf, coloured ink and beeswax on watercolour paper.

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England after the rain

In 2005 Carlisle was unexpectedly hit by devastating floods and 1600 properties were affected directly. Many householders lost everything and when the water subsided, every home affected had a skip outside. It took some over a year  before they were able to return and then on 5th December 2015, when those same residents were preparing to celebrate Christmas, they were flooded out again in the aftermath of storm Desmond’s record breaking rainfall. This time 2100 properties were inundated.

Carlisle is at the confluence of three major rivers, the Rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, and is therefore highly prone to flooding. The city has a long history of flooding with notable floods in 1771, 1822, 1856, 1925, 1968 and more recently in 2005. The 2015 flood level on the River Eden was 0.6m higher than in 2005.

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The 1/8 scale model pictured, is a work in progress and is being created by Phil for C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year 2017. Note the logo on the side of the skip which is the alchemy symbol for gold rising  out of the alchemy symbol for water. It resembles a cocktail glass. Some did undoubtedly profit from the misfortune of others.

The prophesy shown above was on the front page of the 2005 Cumberland News souvenir edition. Today, some properties still have a skip outside. Some homeowners have left for good, their houses up for sale or sold at auction.

Hand to mouth…

On a recent visit to  The Brunswick Yard in Penrith, we got chatting to Sam; a vintner who runs his business Black Hand Wine from there. He describes his business as ‘real wine, organic wine, biodynamic wine, local spirits, local beers, real wine know-how, wine tastings, wine advice, food and wine matching, wine making’. We came away with a couple of bottles of inspiration…

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He also sells bottles straight from the barrel. This week he was offering  a tasty organic vin rouge.

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You buy the bottle as part of your initial purchase then bring it back for a refill.