Croglam Castle is one of those strange sites....everyone tells you how great it is, how well defined it is....but when you get there, you can't help feel a little disappointed. Whilst the walk to the summit is great, the fort itself hasn't stood the test of time very well, and any earthworks are well worn and built on. Worth a visit if not just for the views.
'Some of the younger and stronger-limbed' members of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society took an excursion to this fort in the 1880s. I think they were a bit disappointed by its misleading name as well.
Just at the bottom of the hill is a bridge over the Eden. It sounds quite an unusual spot with its own lore:
Stenkrith Bridge .. spans the Eden at a point where the stream has worn the rock into numerous narrow channels, some of them of considerable depth. In places the agency of the stream, carrying with it fragments of harder stone, has scooped the rocks out into perfectly circular basins, well-known as pot-holes. When the river is low, as was the case on this occasion, visitors can walk among and around these basins, which are filled with the clearest of water, and form the most tempting-looking baths that it is possible to imagine.
At one place the whole stream of the river is contracted within so small a space between two mighty pieces of rock that a lady can step from one side to the other with the greatest ease. Some years ago the "pass" was still narrower, for it was then possible for a man's hand to span the whole body of the stream, until some drunken boor resolved that his coarse fist should be the last hand to do such a feat, and brought a sledge hammer to work.
A glance was next given to the "demon-haunted cave" in the neighbourhood, an opening in the rock where can be heard rumblings which simple folks in days not very long past regarded as very "uncanny" sounds indeed, but which the realistic intelligence of the present day unhesitatingly ascribes to the movement of streams in the bowels of the earth.
This is a earthern rampart circling the summit of a small conical hill to the south of Kirkby Stephen. The area within the rampart is fairly small, so this maybe was a temporary site, used by a small community when the area was unstable. Another theory is that it was a ritual site, aligned as it is to the sacred hill of the area, Wild Boar Fell.