button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

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Page 182:-
  Castlerigg stone circle
and shape, about 39 yards diameter, and on the east side within the circle or area two or more rows of like stones, including a space about eight yards by four [n]. Stukely desribes it as very intire, 100 feet diameter, consisting of 40 stones, some very large. At the east end a grave, made of such other stones, in the very east point of the circle, and within it not a stone wanting, though some are removed out of their original situation. They call it the Carles, and corruptly Castle rigg. There seemed to be another lower in the next pasture towards the town [o].
On the north side of Castlerigg, on the river Bure, were lead and copper works, ruined in the civil war [p].
  Black lead.
  black lead mines
The Black lead is found in Seatallor fell in Keswic parish. It is essentially different from the Melanteria and Pnigitis of Dioscorides; the former being expressly said to be found at the mouth of copper mines, and the latter more like the black chalk mentioned by Dr. Plot [q]. It is used by the neighbourhood medically against colics, gravel, stone, and strangury, operating by urine, sweat, and vomitting. It also enables crucibles to stand the hottest fire, and being rubbed on iron and steel arms preserves them from rust; and it is used by cloth-dyers to make their blues stand unalterable. This mundic ore having little of sulphur in its composition will not flow without a violent heat. It produces a white regulus shining like silver [r]. The old level was first re-opened 1710. It belongs to a number of gentlemen, who, lest the market should be over-stocked, open the mine but once in seven years [s]. It sells from 8 to 12s. a pound [t]. It lies intermixed with a hard greenish rock, in the midst of which it appeared of a full round vein or body of above three feet diameter. It is called here Kellow or Wadf (sic); the former name is supposed to be derived from the Irish, the latter from the Saxon woad. It is said there is a mine of it in the West Indies; but there is no need to import any, as much being found here in one year will serve all Europe for several years. It is rather to be classed with earths than with metals or minerals: and as Ruddle is an earth strongly impregnated with the steams of iron, so is this with those of lead, as appears by its weight, colour, &c. Dr. Merret [u] gives it the name Nigrica fabrilis, adding that it wanted a true one till he gave it this at Keswick, and that it is the peculiar produce of New and Old England [5]; but sir R. Sibbald assures us, it is found in Aberdeenshire [x].
  St Herbert
The friendship between St. Cuthbert and St. Herbert, who died on the same day and minute at Carlisle and Lindisfarne, are largely recited by Bede, all which is repeated in an instrument whereby Thomas de Apulby, bishop of Carlisle 1374, requires the vicar of Crosthwait to say a yearly mass in St. Herbert's isle April 13th, in commemoration of that saint, and grants 40 days indulgence to such of his parishioners as shall devouly attend the service [y].
  Castlerigg stone circle

"On the east side of the isle where as the water of Darguent risith is a little poor market town called Keswike, and yt is a mile from St. Herebertes isle, that Bede spekith of. Divers springs cometh out of Borodale, and so make a great lough that we call a pool, and therein be three isles. In the one is the head places of the M. Radclyf, another is called St. Hereberts isle, where is a chapel, the 3d is Vicar isle full of trees like a wilderness [z]." Keswic is placed in a narrow bottom under vast mountains full of mines. There is carried on a manufactory of flannels, linseys, and yarn. It has a school. Its vale a circle between land and water of about 20 miles is the Elysium of the north. The form of the lake is irregular, extending about three miles and an half from north to south and about one mile and an half broad; its greatest depth 20 feet. The river Derwent passes through and gives name to it. The southern extremity is a composition of all that is horrible. An immense chasm opens up in the midst, whose entrance is divided by a rude conic hill, once topt by a castle, beyond a chain of craggs, patched with snow, and containing various minerals, overshading the dark winding deeps of Borrowdale. The north view is a beautiful contrast.
Skiddaw shews its vast base, and bounding all that part of the vale rises gently 1100 yards perpendicular from the broadwater with two heads [a], with a smooth verdant front, on whose top is Skiddaw maen, a blue slate stone, a beacon or kistvaen. Cranberries grow on it. Each boundary of the lake partakes of the extremities. The southern varies in rocks of different forms from the tremendous precipices of the Lady's leap and broken front of the Falcon's nest, and the more distant concave curve of Lowdore [b], a length of precipices intermixed with trees and cataracts. On the north side is a salt spring, once belonging to the monks of Furness, sheep-pastures on the sides of the lofty hills, and woods running down to the water's edge: But most of the antient woods have been cut down by the commissioners for Greenwich hospital. The three islands on this circular lake are finely disposed. The principal is the Lord's island about five acres, where St. Herbert's hermitage was. The late sir Wilfrid Lawson 1761 cut down the old wood and planted new [c]. The water is subject to violent agitation, and, in the calmest weather, the waves will run high and the vessels be tost by what is called a bottom wind [d]. About a mile and an half from Keswic on a high hill in a field called the Castle, is a druidical circle of stones, tending to an oval 35 yards diameter from north to south and near 30 from east to west. These stones are at present 40, but many fallen. At the north end are two five feet high; two more of nearly the same height at the south end, and one at the east near seven feet. On this side is the Kistvaen of great stones [e].
  St Kentigern, Great Crosthwaite
In Crossthwaite church is a brass for sir John Radcliff and his lady 1327, &c. [f]. Sir John Banks, bart. Attorney-General and Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas t. Charles I. gave a considerable benefaction for erecting a manufacturing house and maintaining the poor of Keswick, his native place, which charity is still well managed [g].
[n] Burn, 80.
[o] It. Cur. II. 48.
[p] Burn, II. 80.
[q] Oxf. 56,57.
[r] Robinson's Nat. hist. of Westm. and Cumb.
[s] Pennant, 1772, p.42.
[t] Burn, II. 80-83.
[u] Pinax, p.218.
[5] G.
[x] Prod. IV. p.42.
[y] Regist. Apulb. p.261. Smith's Bede, p.783. G.
[z] Lel. VII. 71.
[a] Burn, II. 86.
[b] See Antiq. Repert. I. 97.
[c] Burn, II. 86.
[d] Pennant, 1772, 59-61.
[e] Ib. 58. Ant. Repert. I. 248. Stukeley, It. Cur. I. 47.
[f] Pennant, 41.
[g] G. See Hutchin's Dorset, II. 87.
gazetteer links
button -- "Broadwater" -- Bassenthwaite Lake
button -- (black lead mine, Seathwaite)
button -- "Carles" -- Castlerigg Stone Circle
button -- "Vicar Isle" -- Derwent Isle
button -- Derwent Water
button -- "Keswic" -- Keswick
button -- Lodore Falls
button -- "Skiddaw" -- Skiddaw
button -- "St Herbert's Isle" -- St Herbert's Island
button -- "Bure, River" -- St John's Beck
button -- "Crossthwaite Church" -- St Kentigern's Church
button -- Vale of Keswick
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