Smithymire Island, Borrowdale, Coast to Coast

Smithymire Island is a small low lying rocky promontory of loose stones lying at the confluence of Greenup Gill and Langstrath Beck, adjoining the Coast to Coast path. It would seem that it is sometimes an island during wet weather when the river rises, but that most of the time the loose stones of the island merge with those on the riverside bank.

It is particularly notable because it marks the location of the watersmeet at the foot of Eagle Crag. Once merged, they become the wider and deeper Stonethwaite Beck, a prominent tributory to Derwent Water.

At the north end of Smithymire island is Galleny Force, a small, narrow gorge through which the water thunders in wet weather. It is a hotspot for the locals who frequently use it for skinny dipping. There are many deep, swimmable pools.

Smithymire may only appear as a loose collection of rocks, but it is steeped in ancient history and the area around it well worth exploring.

Ancient Bloomeries

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There are several small ancient iron working sites on and around Smithymire Island. These are known as bloomeries and appear as low mounds with a side exposed, facing Stonethwaite Beck. That on Smithymire Island is conical in shape and has a diameter of about 12 metres and is just over 1 metre high.

Bloomeries are furnaces that were used anciently to separate the oxides from iron. The waste slag is called a bloom. They usually had a bed of charcoal which was heated by the furnace until red hot. Ancient furnaces were rarely able to reach a sufficiently high temperature to completely separate the slag, and so it was often subjected to many re-heating processes and hammering, each time becoming a little purer.

Smithymire Island

Smithymire Island is the small triangular area within the obvious bend from the Langstrath Beck coming from the bottom centre and turning left where it joins Greenup Gill, (hidden in the foliage at the bottom right), to become the Stonethwaite Beck.
Smithymire Island

Greenup Gill

A little further up from Smithymire Island
Greenup Gill

Galleny Force

Galleny Force is on the Stonethwaite Beck, at the north point of Smithymire Island
Galleny Force
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Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path

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Coast to Coast eBook

The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path

The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path is designed both as a trail guide, and as an informative and adventurous travelogue. Written by Roy David McKee, this is a must-read for anyone contemplating the walk.

The book is available from the iBooks store and has been digitally enhanced.

Features of the Book:
  • Route described in detail
  • Large scale detailed digital Maps of the route
  • Hundreds of colour photographs that can be expanded to full page
  • Photo-galleries of particular areas of interest.
  • Research notes of Historic and Interesting places on the path.
Copyright © 2017 Roy McKee
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