River Eamont (part 29)

A glorious sunshine day and I decided it was about time I continued with the journey of the River Eamont, so walked to a spot that a few blippers know very well - to the church in a field.
When we were last following the river we saw it meandering through the countryside way below us. It was Autumn then and we could hardly see the river through the trees. Since then we have had major floods, damaged bridges, flooded fields - a destructive winter. How lovely today to be walking the same path in warm sunshine, with birds singing, lambs in the field and for it to be dry underfoot.

And this is where we arrive  - at the little church of Ninekirks, standing all on its own in the middle of a field. I have been to the church a few times, but today I bypassed it and followed the riverbank. You can see, if you follow the line of the trees, how the river makes an impressive bend right round where the church stands. (This is even more striking if you look on the location map.) There is evidence of human occupation in this area of land over many centuries and one can see why this should be. Certainly Romans were here, the first church was thought to be Anglo-Saxon and there was a medieval village, which was cleared and the inhabitants moved to Eamont Bridge, leaving the church behind.
The church is dedicated to St Ninian and it is thought that he had at one time a cell in the sandstone cliffs; there may even have been an ancient monastery. The extra picture shows the sandstone cliffs that rise above the river here. There are caves, which we failed to find when on the other side, and supposedly also a small chapel and Holy Well. I have since found that these have been inaccessible for many years. It is hard to even see where they might be, although we think we spotted the caves.
So, a secluded spot and lovely on such a glorious afternoon. 

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