button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 31:-
Glencoyn was formerly the estate of a family of Harrisons, one of whom going to London upon a law-suit, (then depending between him and the Lord of Graystock, for damage done by his deer,) was arrested there by his counsel and attorney for costs: he was thereupon obliged to sell his estate, which was bought by Mr William Graves, (master of an house in Lincoln's-Inn Fields famous for selling Burton ale,) for L.600. Graves lived to see it worth L.4000, and it is now in the possession of F. Hodgkinson, Esq; his son-in-law.
  Glencoyne Beck
  county boudary

Glencoyn Beck, which runs nearly through the middle of the estate, divides Cumberland from Westmorland, and takes its rise in a valley called Glencoyn-Dale, and not upon Helveylin, as some modern authors chuse to assert. But when we consider the great labour attending these researches, we need not wonder at such inaccuracies among such as write to amuse, and not instruct. This brook is plentifully stocked with fish: I remember, some years ago, taking 147 trouts with the hook in it.
  Helvellyn etc
The view up the Lake is extensive and beautiful. The Lake itself is spotted with islands, just large and numerous enough to vary its smooth surface. The Vale of Glenridding then opens to the view; then Patterdale unfolds itself, and shews an old church and hall, situated in a fertile and romantic valley: the rich fields of Blawike are seen gently slopping (sic) to the water's edge; whilst beyond, and above the rest, the British Alps, Glencoyn Pike, Catsby [Catsty] Pike, St Sunday's Cragg, and Bleas-Fell, rear their heads. Above all, Helveylin rises with precipice over precipice, and hides his rugged summit amidst almost continual mists. Snow is seldom a wanting here; and I know a gentleman who went from Penrith to it, in order to dine in a snow drift upon Midsummer-day. His account of his journey being curious and singular, will plead my excuse if I insert it at length.
  Helvellyn, ascent
"I had often, from the neighbourhood of Penrith, seen specks of snow in the height of Summer, on the summit of a hill, the name of which I did not at that time know, and a strong desire seized me of dining in so elevated a situation, and upon such a seat as is not at all common in Britain at that season. Accordingly, about two o'clock of the a Midsummer morning, I set forward, and rode about eleven miles to Glencoyn, which lyes at the bottom of that heap of mountains on the summit of which this snow was seen. Leaving my horse at the house which stands in this small valley, I began to ascend: it was now betwixt four and five o'clock, and I experienced what I would not have believed to be possible at that time of the morning, viz. a heat greater than I have felt in any situation at noon. The rays of the sun, just now risen, were reflected from the Lake, and thrown right into the valley, which resembles pretty much the half of a beehive cut longitudinally: in front were rocks almost perpendicular; on the right hand, a steep hill covered with heath; on the left, another hill cloathed with wood: such a stagnation of the air as then took place, and such an intensity of heat, had an effect resembling suffocation. The summit of the first hill afforded no alleviation of the uneasiness thus occasioned; for the air heated, and rarified in the valley, was ascending. The north wind, however, compensated for this in the upper parts of the mountain, and with severe toil I, in about five hours, reached the snow, and the summit. The surface of it was covered with dust, so that I was obliged to make a hole in it with my staff to procure clean snow to drink, or rather eat to my dinner, Such a prospect was never presented to me as from this place, though I have been upon almost every high mountain in the North of England, and upon many in Scotland. After I had satisfied myself with surveying the countries beneath, and the sea at a distance, I began to set forward on my return; and after having spent about ten hours in the ascent and descent, arrived again, though by a different way, in Glencoyn."
As Patterdale forms a principal object in our view, and is otherwise remarkable, I shall say a few words concerning it. The church is a perpetual curacy, and was worth about L.13 per annum till the year 1743, when the interest of L.200 was allotted to it by the governors of Queen Ann's bounty: with this addition it is now worth a-
erratum from p.194
for Catesby, read Catsty.
gazetteer links
button -- "Glencoyn Beck" -- Glencoyne Beck
button -- "Glencoyn" -- Glencoyne
button -- "Helveylin" -- Helvellyn ascent 1780s
button -- St Patrick's Church
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