Lost Lad

7th Nov 2017

Lost Lad Summit

A lovely place for Peak District walkers to explore is the Derwent Moorland above Ladybower Reservoir.  We often take our navigation teams there - within a short walk from the car you can be in stunning and remote terrain with fantastic views and lots of well linked footpaths. If you explore the area you are likely to end up on the intriguingly named Lost Lad high point.   It is well worth the climb up to the 518 metre summit as it offers amazing views and, with the aid of the permanent toposcope (orientation table) positioned there, you can easily identify many key features and tops in the surrounding area.  But many who stand on top may wonder at the intriguing name of this feature. Well, here is the story of how Lost Lad got its name……

Abraham Lowe was a 13 year old shepherd boy that is said to have lived with his widowed mother in the now lost village of Derwent (Derwent was submerged when the valley was filled with water after the building of the Ladybower Dam).  One wintry day, when Derwent village had become cut off by heavy snow, Abraham was sent by his mother to round up some sheep from the high moorland and bring them to shelter. As always, his faithful dog was at his side.  

Abraham found many sheep but the weather continued to deteriorate until, despite knowing the moors intimately, Abraham became lost.  He searched and searched for his way home but in the end had to give up.  He huddled for shelter beside some rocky features on that aforementioned hilltop and gradually succumbed to hypothermia.  He didn’t survive.

His mother and several neighbours searched the area but their frantic efforts were continually thwarted by poor weather and continued snowfall.  It actually wasn’t until spring, many weeks later, when a fellow local shepherd found Abraham’s body.  Abraham lay curled into a foetal shape in the lee of the rock and tragically, on a slab of gritstone near his body, he had desperately scratched the words ‘LOST LAD’ to mark his position.  It is also said that, despite the timespan, the harsh winter and intense cold, his faithful dog was found alive at his side. 

At the side of the summit Toposcope you will still find a large cairn and this is said to have been created by passing shepherd’s who, as a mark of respect, would always add a stone to the growing pile as they strolled by.  It is also said that many walkers, particularly in winter, report seeing the ghost of the lad, sheepdog at his side, wandering the bleak and windswept moors.

Posted by Cal 

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