At William Howard School we have four Houses named after significant features within our local area: Eden, Gelt, Talkin and Vindolanda.
Eden House is named after the River Eden
The River Eden rises in Black Fell Moss, Mallerstang. Here it forms the boundary between the counties of Cumbria and North Yorkshire. It starts life as Red Gill Beck, then becomes Hell Gill Beck, before turning north and joining with Gill Beck to become the River Eden.
The river flows north, and passes close to the ancient stone circle known as Long Meg and Her Daughters and through vale of Cumbria on the Solway Plain. After flowing through Wetheral, where it is crossed by Corby Bridge, a Grade I listed railway viaduct of 1834, it merges with the River Irthing from the east, followed by the River Petteril and River Caldew from the south, as it winds through Carlisle.
Its junction with the River Caldew in north Carlisle marks the point where Hadrian’s Wall crosses the Eden, only five miles before both reach their end at the tidal flats. It enters the Solway Firth near the mouth of the River Esk.
Talkin House Named after Talkin Fell
The name of the fell originates from ‘tal’, meaning end, brow or top in the ancient Celtic dialect, and ‘can’ which is thought to mean white or bright. So Talkin suggests a hill name meaning ‘white brow’ or ‘white top.
The fell is 381 metres high has a series of cairns along the summit. These can be seen from Talkin Tarn nearby.
The location is well known by staff and students many who have walked the fell regularly with their families. It is also one of the trails our mountain running club use on their after school run sessions.
Gelt House – Named after Gelt Woods
About two miles south of Brampton is Gelt Woods, a delightful walk, and also an RSPB nature reserve. In the woods is a rock with an inscription carved by a Roman soldier in the 3rd Century.
Hugging the banks of the river Gelt is a most remarkable quarry. This Quarry was chiselled out by Roman Engineers 1800 years ago. The stone was either used to build or to repair the 70 mile long wall built by Emperor Hadrian shortly after 122AD. The wall is the largest Roman Monument in Europe, and has recently been designated a World Heritage Site. Looking at the size and grandeur of this quarry truly brings home just how immense the wall is, and the amount of labour and money it must have taken to build.
All along the cliff face are the marks and chippings left by the quarrymen as they chiselled out the stones for the wall. The chisel marks seem to form a herringbone pattern and the first impression formed is that it is not a quarry but a large temple, it is an awe inspiring place, equally as impressive as the wall itself.
Gelt Woods is a haven for wildlife, home to a variety of different animals and birds. Bird watching can be enjoyed all year round, and red squirrels have been spotted amongst the trees.
Vindolanda House named after Vindolanda Roman Fort
Roman Vindolanda is the home of Britain’s Top Treasure: The Vindolanda Writing Tablets. Vindolanda lies just to the south of the curtain wall of Hadrian’s Wall and has a very different ‘feel’ to other sites along the Wall. It lies upon the first Roman frontier in the north – The Stanegate Road and in a stunning landscape which lets your imagination really connect with its past. You will probably visit Vindolanda by driving or walking along this road to reach the fort and museum. Although first built by the Roman army before Hadrian’s Wall Vindolanda became an important construction and garrison base for the Wall, a Hadrian’s Wall fort in its own right. During this time Vindolanda was demolished and completely re-built no fewer than nine times. Each re-build, each community, leaving their own distinctive mark on the landscape and archaeology of the site.