Owned by generations of the Tyson family of Cockley Beck; Gaitscale Farm was occupied between 1686 and 1771. By the 19th century, it was unoccupied and in a bad state of repair. Still visible are the surrounding ridge and furrow fields and outlying sheep pens and field boundaries. ‘Gait’ is old Norse for goat, and scale, sheiling or house. The Norse name is evidence of occupation and activity here for many centuries, with some of the fields last used during the Second World War.
The farm buildings were constructed mainly from river cobbles from the river Duddon below. The Rev. Robert Walker (‘Wonderful Walker’) used to clip sheep here with the help of the Clipping Stone, which can be found at the entrance of Seathwaite Church. You can also see the remains of the Roman road between Ambleside and Ravenglass.
Planning your visit:
The Newfield Inn at Seathwaite is the nearest pub. There is a Post Office in Ulpha which sells sandwiches and drinks. More comprehensive facilities are available in Broughton-in-Furness (about 7 miles away), with a tourist information centre, numerous pubs, café, butcher/grocery store, post office and a petrol station/garage.
How to get here:
From Greenodd follow A5092 passing the High Cross Inn on the right. At the Duddon Bridge traffic lights turn right signposted Seathwaite and Ulpha. Keep straight for 12 miles through Seathwaite onto Cockley Beck. You will see a sign for Langdales, follow this for ½ a mile, you will then see the ruins to your left. There is a small off-road informal area for parking (short periods only) to your right.
If you're interested in historical buildings, ruins and stories behind Lakeland landscapes; you might like to see more history-inspired things to do here