Shepherd's Cairn At Ewartly Shank
Standing Stone In Alnham, Northumberland
A monument to two shepherds who lost their lives in a snow storm and ultimately led to the formation of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.
The Northumberland National Park is a beautiful place to explore, but sometimes the weather can be quite unrelenting. This was the case in 1962 when two shepherds died in a snowstorm returning from the market. This Shepherds Cairn is a lasting tribute to them.
While heading back from Rothbury Market in their tractor, three Shepherds called Jock Scott, Willie Middlemas and Willie Bulloch were caught up in a blizzard as they made their way across the fells.
Dropping Willie Middlemas off at Castle Farm in Alnham the other two continued home towards their home farm at Ewartly Shank.
Two days later Jock's wife sought out Willie Middlemas, while looking after his flock of sheep, asking the whereabouts of her husband as he should have returned home by this point. Realising that they should have made it back, he quickly raised the alarm and a search began including local shepherds, police and even the RAF.
There were no telephones lines up to these remote farms so it wasn't quick or easy to get in touch.
After an initial search the abandoned tractor was located and then Jock's body was found buried under the snow at High Knowes, just half a mile away from home.
The search continued and the following day Willie's body was found less than 100m from Jock.
Following this tragedy voluntary wardens from Northumberland National Park established a rescue team in 1966 which was then known as the Northumberland National Park Voluntary Wardens Fell Rescue Team.
This team evolved over the years and is now known today as the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.
The cairn was erected in October 2007 near the spot the shepherds were found by the Northumberland National Park and members of the Rescue Team.
It's a beautifully remote and serene area and worth a visit if you are having a wander from Alnham. The route below takes you from near Castle Farm in Alnham up the track and onto Salter's Road towards High Knowes. From here it's a short diversion to the cairn and then can also walk on to Ewartly Shank. Maybe a similar route the two Shepherds took.
Just follow this map, or find it on OS Maps.
Or if you fancy a longer walk from the Breamish Valley then look out for our Shepherd's Cairn Via Hartside Hill And Brough Law walk.
Source: Shepherd's Walks
How To Find Shepherds Cairn At Ewartly Shank
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.More Places from Simon
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