Boat Howe is the summit of a low fell surrounded by true giants. The Scafells loom ominously above - the highest ground in England. We felt a tremendous sense of loss as we took in the beauty of the setting, looking back on the five stone circles which lay nearby. The view from the top is great, in good weather this place would be such a great place to live! The ten minute walk from the summit down to Burnmoor tarn led us to a small lodge house. It's grey walls gave off a gloomy atmosphere from afar. On approach we were confronted with Christian propaganda in the form of a plaque on the wall. It's strange to think what separates these two settlements. Below the house, in it's garden, were the remains of two dead sheep, there bleached bones lying prostrate on the lawn. I don't know what this building was (is?) used for but it certainly gave me the creeps.
Running along the side of Boat Howe, the track from Boot to Burnmoor Lodge and beyond, is a corpse road in use until as late as 1901.
Legend has it that a packhorse carrying the body of Thomas Porter of Wasdale took fright, and bolted (the body still strapped to it's back) over Boat Howe never to be seen again. There are those who have heard the sound of hoofbeats when the mist descends.
Another tale of the Wasdale corpse road involves the Rowan, a tree sacred to Vikings, and still held to have restorative properties among the more superstitious locals. On one occasion a coffin was jolted violently against a Rowan growing beside the track, and either the shock or, as some say, the peculiar properties of the tree, revived the seemingly dead woman who was carried home with much excitement by those who had come to bury her. A while later the woman died and was, for a second time, carried in her coffin over the moor. As the little procession approached the tree, the widower, who obviously did not relish a repeat of the previous journey, was heard to exhort his son leading the horse 'Take care o'yon Rowan, John'.