Supermarine Spitfire P8563 on Deadfriars.
(Distance covered =
1.5 mile/Ascent =+43m)
The Grandson had expressed an interest in going for a 'hike', as he's only 5 I figured he wouldn't want to walk too far so I had a look for a crashsite that was near to a road, but far enough for him to think he'd been on a hike.
There was a Spitfire crashsite on the moors near Blanchland in the northern Pennines, which was less than a mile from a suitable parking spot; an ideal candidate for Theo's first little wreckhunting hike.
Amanda the Panda parked near the old Dead Friar's Quarry.
After parking the car and putting on the hiking boots, jumpers and fleeces it didn't take us long to realise that the cold and wind might prove a little bit too demanding for Theo, so we resigned ourselves to having an even shorter walk just to have a look at the nearby abandoned quarry.
The bitter cold was made even worse by a biting windchill.
Once we'd reached the old quarry we came to the conclusion that Theo wasn't bothered in the slightest by the artic conditions, so we continued over the moor for a while to see how far he'd get. Halfway across the moor we were subjected to a bit of a snowstorm but even that didn't deter him so we were able to progress right over to the area where the Spitfire had crashed.
above and below:- Walking over the moor towards Burnhope Head.
We were only in possession of a 6 figure grid reference for this crashsite which meant a 10,000 sq metre area to search, but luckily we found the site almost straight away despite there being very little surface wreckage.
In the search area for the final resting place of Spitfire P8563.
All that remained was a crater containing a few small fragments of the Spitfire lying on the surface. This site had been dug by ACIA in 2008 but because of restrictions due to the location being an area of 'special scientific interest' the dig had to be conducted by hand only and to a maximum depth of 1.6 metres*. Because of this there is probably a lot of Spitfire still buried here, quite possibly including the engine. Our metal detector certainly agreed with that theory.
The crater where the Spitfire crashed on Dead Friars.
above and below:-Stuart and Theo at the crashsite.
Walking back to the car after Theo's first visit to a crashsite, Stuart's 5th and my 294th.