As you pass Junction 35 on the northbound M6 the road slowly begins its climb, which will ultimately end at Shap summit. To the west, the hills of Lakeland fill the horizon. To the east, Ingleborough, once thought to be the highest peak in England, peeps over the trees and motorway barriers. To hunting folk the Lakeland fells are home to the fell packs. Small hunts with a long history run on a shoestring by hard men. However the country that you’re currently traversing was for around 80 years hunted by a wealthy group completely different to their brothers in the North West, who began by hunting hare, and when hare became scarce moved on to deer. This book is an attempt, using material written at the time, to tell the story of the Lunesdale and Oxenholme Staghounds.
Recently I was told that 95% of Lakeland was unexplored in an Archaeological sense. With the abolition of Fox Hunting in 2005 there was a slight chance that places and structures associated with fox hunting would in the fullness of time join them, lost in time and memory.
It was with this in mind that I began to compile material for my website. It is not my intention for it to glorify or be used as propaganda for or against hunting, but simply to record associations with a 'sport' traditional to Lakeland for over 300 years.
I am a native Lakelander with roots going back to 1700, the 4th generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy Lakeland stone to free trapped terriers and also 'carried the horn' on occasions. I hope this site is of interest to you. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story.read more
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