Burgh Marsh and the Edward 1 Monument

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This walk is no more than a short, easy stroll, but it manages to pack a huge amount into a small space. A wander down a lane leads you on to Access Land (Right to Roam) at Burgh Marsh (pronounced 'Bruff' locally). From there you walk to the place where Edward 1st died of dysentery on 7th July 1307. At the time he died he was leading an army of 20,000 towards Scotland. His dying request that his body be boiled and his bones taken into Scotland at the head of his army was not carried out.

The monument is said to be the loneliest monument in England, a sandstone pillar thirty feet high surrounded by a fence. It was erected in 1685 by the Duke of Norfolk and restored several times since. From the monument you continue to the bank of the River Eden, which starts its life on the borders of the Yorkshire Dales. Binoculars will be useful if you are a birdwatcher, as you will find plenty to keep you interested, but there are also good views towards Gretna in Scotland. After the Eden you return to the start point by a slightly different route. Whether you are driving or waiting for the bus, you may wish to visit St Michael's Church in Burgh. This is where Edward's body was laid in state after his death. The church is built on the site of a Roman fort, Aballava, using stones from Hadrian's Wall. The 14th Century tower was fortified to serve as a place of refuge during border raids and was constructed with no exterior door and only arrow slits and small windows. A local story has it that the bells in the tower were taken from a Scottish church just across the Solway to replace the original bells, stolen and taken by the Scots to another Scottish church!

Aballava was part of Hadrian's Wall and it is believed that a North African unit of the Roman army (the Numerus Maurorum Aurelianorum) was stationed there around the 2nd to 4th Centuries AD and it has been speculated that African soldiers may well have stayed in the area after the Roman occupation, making this possibly England's earliest black community.

Burgh by Sands is not only part of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the Solway Coast) but is also part of a World Heritage site (Hadrian's Wall). A wander round Burgh will also reveal a modern statue of Edward, unveiled in 2007, next to the Greyhound Inn, which is probably a good a place as any to wind up the visit.

England - North England - Cumbria - Solway Coast


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Good for Kids, Great Views, Pub, River, Sea

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