Sheepfolds and Ruins of the Lake District from


Welcome to Sheepfolds and Ruins of the Lake District from

There are literally hundreds of sheepfolds dotted about the Lake District. Some are no more than tiny single roomed enclosures or even just a short section of wall often referred to as a bield, while others can be quite large and complex structures made up of many separate quarters.

Although there are no hard and fast conventions, a reasonable rule of thumb is that the smaller more exposed folds and bields were simply used as shelters by the sheep. During snow storms the sheep would instinctively head for these shelters. The shepherds obviously knew where these shelters were, so they would know where to head first when they were on the fells digging sheep out of the snow drifts. The larger, more complex sheepfolds on the other hand would be used by the shepherds for a variety of purposes. These ones are generally found lower down the fells and as I've began to notice myself, they are quite often built next to a beck or at the joining of two streams. Amongst other things, these larger sheepfolds would be used by the shepherd if he needed to doctor his flock for some reason, but didn't necessarily need to take them down as far as the farm. Another reason would be when shepherds from neighboring farms and dales would arrange to round up sheep from the surrounding fells. They'd all meet up at the same sheepfold with whatever sheep they'd gathered. Then they'd set about picking out their own strays.

I always seem to have gained a degree of satisfaction, quickly followed by a bout of inquisitiveness whenever I've passed by one of these folds or ruins for the first time. So sometime around 2007 I decided to begin collecting photos of the many sheepfolds and ruins I pass while I'm out walking. Even though at that stage I had no idea what I was going to do with them, it still seemed like a good idea at the time. By the time the last half of 2008 had came around I'd managed to photograph almost 100 of them without really needing to go out of my way. So, with 100 seeming like a nice round figure, I spent some time deciding how I was going to present them on the website, I then spent a couple of months developing this section of the website and lastly I set about back filling it with all the pictures I'd accumulated. I also made a conscious decision that during 2009 I'd start going out of my way to photograph sheepfolds that are found in some of the more obscure parts in the Lake District. Needless to say 2009 turned into a year of constantly trying to keep the website up to date with all the new sheepfolds I was visiting. As a result of all this activity I've spent many, many evenings adding recently visited sheepfolds and ruins onto the website.

I'm not sure how to explain what I've tried to achieve by putting together this section of the website.  Although for myself personally, the main reason has to be that by visiting all these sheepfolds I've taken myself into some truly hidden corners of the Lake District; places that I wouldn't otherwise have been to. As far as the website goes, a great deal of thought went into how to organise and present everything. The obvious drawback is that as individuals, there are only so many things you can say about a sheepfold or a ruin, particularly when most of them aren't named, probably have no history to talk about anyway, and many of them aren't even marked on a map. So, rather then offer them as a meaningless list with a collection of photos linked to it, I've tried to be a little more visual by using maps to show their locations and hopefully convey the sheer quantity to be found. Most importantly though, this is a record of the condition of the sheepfolds and ruins at a specific point in time. Obviously the pictures needed to be viewed from some point on the site, so I've added the links to the photos straight onto the maps.

Click on an area to view more details

Sunderland / Isel Binsey / Bewaldeth North of Binsey Sale Fell / North Bassenthwaite Lake Broom Fell / Lord's Seat / Whintatter / Thornthwaite area East side of Whinlatter Pass / Coledale / Stoneycroft Gill Causey Pike / Crag Hill - Newlands Pass / Head of Newlands Valley Buttermere Moss / Hindscarth / Dale Head / Honister Pass / Warnscale Bottom area Grey Knotts / Head of Ennerdale / Gillercomb / Kirk Fell / Great Gable / Sty Head Pass area Great End / Lingmell / Scafell Pike / Scafell / Great Moss area Great How / Brotherilkeld end of Upper Eskdale / Hardknott Castle area Harter Fell / Green Crag area South of Great Worm Crag / Duddon Valley / Park Head Road area Dunnerdale Fells / Broughton Mills area Broughton in Furness Red Pike / High Stile / High Crag / Buttermere area Great Borne / Starling Dodd / Bowness Knott / East end of Ennerdale area Ennerdale Bridge / Ennerdale Water (north) / Grike / Crag Fell area Dent / Flat Fell / Blakeley Rise area Crummock Water / Grasmoor / Whiteless Pike / Rannerdale / Scale Force area Lorton Vale / Whiteside / Hopegill / Gasgale Gill area Ling Fell / Greystones / Lorton area Setmurthey / Embleton / Wythop Mill High Spy / Grange Fell / Head of Borrowdale / Borrowdale side of Honister Pass area High Tove / Watendlath / Dock Tarn / Blea Tarn / Armboth Fell area Thirlmere / Whiteside . Helvellyn / Nethermost Pike area Birkhouse Moor / Glenridding / Grisedale / St Sunday Crag area Patterdale / Deepdale / Boredale Hause / Angle Tarn area Wether Hill / The Nab / Rest Dodd / High Raise area Four Stones Hill / Haweswater / Naddle Valley / Hare Shaw area Rosgill / Swindale Keld Loweswater / Gavel Fell / Hen Comb / Mellbreak / Mosedale area Fellbarrow / Thackthwaite / Mosser Road / Loweswater area Mosser / Hundith Hill Area Cockermouth Area Pillar / Scoat Fell / Red Pike / Mosedale area Yewbarrow / Wasdale Head / Nether Beck / Wasdale Head Corpse Road area Illgill Head / Burnmoor Tarn / Miterdale / Boot / Brat's Moss area Eskdale / Stanley Force / Birker Fell area Devoke Water / Woodend / Hesk Fell / Whitfell area Thwaites Fell / Great Paddy Crag White Combe / Swinside Fell area Whicham Valley Caw Fell / Haycock Area Seatallan / South end of Blengdale / Greendale Tarn / Buckbarrow area Nether Wasdale / Irton Pike / Miterdale Forest Area Muncaster Fell / Eskdale Green Area Birkby / Barnscar / Stainton Fell / Waberthwaite Fell area Corney Fell Area Black Combe / Bootle Fell area Whicham / south of Black Combe Area Lamplugh / Cogra Moss / Croasdale area Sosgill / Fangs Brow Area Lank Rigg / Latter Barrow area Swainson Knott / Stockdale Moor / Ponsonby Fell Area Gosforth / Santon Bridge Area Holmerook / Muncaster Tarn Area Ravenglass / Muncaster Castle / Waberthwaite Area Hycemoor Area Bootle Area Cold Fell area Calder Bridge / River Calder Area New Mill / west side fo Gosforth Area Newlands Valley / Cat Bells / Maiden Moor / Grange area Keswick / north Newlands Valley / Derwent Water Ullock Pike / Carl Side / Dodd / Skiddaw Little Man Bassenthwaite - Bakestall - north of Skiddaw area Uldale / Overwater Ireby / Aughertree Fell Seathwaite - Rosthwaite Fell - Langstrath - Glaramara area Esk Pike - Bow Fell - Crinkle Crags - Mickleden - Angle Tarn - Martcrag Moor area Crinkle Crags / Moasdale / Cold Pike / Wrynose Bottom area Grey Friar / Seathwaite Tarn - Dow Crag / Goat's Water area Walna Scar Road / White Maiden / Caw / Broughton Moor area Woodland / River Lickle Grizebeck / Blawith Knott Bleaberry Fell / Ashness Bridge / Raven Crag / High Seat area Latrigg / Castlerigg Stone Circle / High Rigg / Naddle Valley area South of Skiddaw House / Lonscale Fell / Blease Fell / Gale Road / Blencathra Centre area Burn Tod / Great Calva / Dash / Skiddaw House / Cumbria Way area Back O'Skiddaw / Brae Fell / Longlands Fell / Great Cockup / Knott / Great Lingy Hill area Faulds Brow / Fell Side Ullscarf / Sergeant's Crag / Greenup Edge - High Raise / Wythburn Head area Langdale Pikes / Easedale Tarn / Blea Rigg - Lingmoor Fell (north) Oxendale area Pike O'Blisco / Lingmoor Fell / Wrynose Pass / Wetherlam / Great Intake area Swirl How / Yewdale Fells / Coniston Old Man / Coniston Torver South Coniston Water / Beacon Tarn / High Nibthwaite Crake Valley - Lowick Green The Dodds / Sticks Pass / Raise / Legburthwaite area North end of St John's in the Vale / Clough Head / Threlkeld Common area Blencathra / River Glenderamackin / Mousthwaite Comb / Threlkeld area Mosedale / Bowscale / Bannerdale Crags area Caldbeck Fells / High Pike / Carrock Fell area Caldbeck / Hesket Newmarket Dunmail Raise / Wythburn / Greenburn Bottom / Far Easedale / Seat Sandal / Stone Arthur area Grasmere / Easedale / Silver How / Great Langdale area Elterwater / Loughrigg Tarn / Little Langdale (east) / Skelwith Bridge / Black Crag area Holme Fell / Tarn Hows / Hawkshead Hill Grizedale Forest Satterthwaite / Rusland Oxen Park / Rusland Valley Tottlebank / Greenodd / Haverthwaite Dowthwaitehead / Watermillock common / Glencoyne / Sheffield Pike / Greenside Mines area Old Coach Road / High Row area Souther Fell / Wallthwaite - Flaska Mungrisdale / Mosedale area East of Carrock Fell / Hutton Roof Mill House Deepdale / Fairfield / Dovedale / Rydal Head / Scandale Pass area Rydal Beck / Scandale / Rydal / North East Loughrigg Fell area Loughrigg Fell / Ambleside / North end of Windermere area Blelam Tarn / Hawkshead / Claife Heights Esthwaite Water / Near Sawrey / Far Sawrey South Windermere / Great Green Hows Finsthwaite / Newby Bridge Bigland Tarn / Field Broughton Cartmel Aira Force / Sandwick / Place Fell - Boredale area Little Mell Fell / Matterdale / Dockray / Gowbarrow Fell area Whitbarrow / Great Mell Fell Berrier Hill Brothers Water / Pasture Bottom / Caiston Glen / Thresthwaite Mouth area Red Screes / Kirkstone Pass / Troutbeck Tongue - Baystones area Wansfell / Troutbeck / Sour Howes area Troutbeck Bridge / Windermere / Orrest Head Bowness / Winster Bowland Bridge Gummer's How / Cartmel Fell / River Winster Barrow Hollin / Nigh Newton Lindale / Hampsfell Arthur's Pike / Hallin Fell / Howtown / Loadpot Hill / Fusedale area Watermillock / north end of Ullswater Dacre / Hutton Hayeswater / High Street / Riggindale / Nan Bield Pass / Head of Kentmere area Kentmere / Ill Bell / Yoke / Kentmere Pike / area Garburn Pass / Kentmere / Sallows / Kentmere Valley area Hugill Fell / Reston Scar Crook Underbarrow / Crosthwaite Whitbarrow Scar Witherslack Meathop Heltondale / Cawdale / East of Loadpot Hill area Pooley Bridge / Heughscar / Moor Divock area Dalemain / Barton Swindale Head / Mardale Head / Mosedale / Gatescarth Pass Tarn Crag / Grey Crag / Sadgill / Shipman Knotts area Longsleddale / Skeggles Water / Sleddale Forest area Brunt Knott / Potter Fell Rather Heath / Plumgarths Underbarrow Road / Brigsteer Lyth Valley Kent Estuary Knipe Sacr / Bampton Askham / Helton / Lowther Yanwath Wood Wet Sleddale - Seat Robert - Ulthwaite Rigg - Sleddale Pike area Wasdale / Crookdale / end of Borrowdale High House Bank / Bannisdale Garnett Bridge Wet Sleddale Reservoir Shap Pink Quarry West Borrowdale

David Hall -
Lake District Walks