It is quite difficult for us modern folk living in the 20th & 21st centuries to imagine the hardships that people used to endure in previous centuries. Not least of these hardships was the need to transport their dead to the nearest consecrated ground. Obviously this only affected isolated rural communities such as some of those found in the Lake District. There are actually quite a few corpse roads dotted about Lakeland, the two most well know being Burnmoor and this one known as the Old Corpse Road.
The last occasion when the route was used for this purpose was in 1736. Sadly however, the village of Mardale Green was flooded in the 1930's to allow the valley to be turned into a reservoir. The irony is that the bodies in Mardale Green were then exhumed and reburied at Shap with their ancestors.