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

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Page 100:-
[see]ing, not only the horrors, but the beauties of the place; and therefore, (more honestly than most of our authors,) gives no description of what he never saw. It is indeed a question whether, if Mr Gray had wrote the history of his terrors, it would not have been as entertaining, at least as curious, as his journal. I cannot, however, help thinking, that the world lost more by this unaccountable weakness, than even Mr Gray himself.
  Ormathwaite Hall
Having passed Crookelty-Bridge, we see Armathwaite (sic), the seat of William Brownrigg, Esq; M.D.; this house and every thing round it are planned and executed in all the charming simplicity of refined taste. The learned owner has been long and justly celebrated for his extensive acquaintance with every branch of medical and philosophical knowledge: as a chemist and electrician he may perhaps stand unrivalled; and it is generally believed, that both Dr Franklin and Dr Priestly stand indebted to him for many of their most important discoveries. He has by him a great number of invaluable essays on almost every subject, but could never be persuaded to give them to the world: I can only add, that I hope, for the sake of science, he will change his present resolution.
From hence are two roads to Keswick, as will appear by the plan: the road by Monks-Hall does not, however, afford any thing entertaining, and is, besides, viewed in our road to Skiddow. This estate belongs to Sir M. Le Fleming, Baronet, and takes its name from the circumstance of belonging formerly to the Monks of Furness Abbey in Lancashire. It was given to them, (with other lands in this neighbourhood,) by Godartus Dapifer, and was called a carucate * of land. Godartus's heirs confirmed the gift, and paid, according to Nicholson and Burn, L.100, and five couples of hounds for a post-fine to King Henry II. At this hall the Monks had a Steward, and here the tenants used to pay their rents. It is now a small farm house, but there are vestiges of a moat and a square building.
The other road which leads past the vicarage affords the grandest view for the artist of any in this country. Mr Gray describes it, but did not leave his road for it; and only viewed from the horsing-stone at the parsonage house: he says of it, "From hence I got to the parsonage a little before sunset, and saw in my glass a picture, that if I could transmit to you, and fix in all the softness of its living colours, would fairly sell for a thousand pounds. This is the sweetest scene that I can yet discover in point of pastoral beauty; the rest are in a sublimer stile." Here are two views, one facing Low-Door, and the other towards Finkle-street, which I think the better: to describe them is impossible, as they depend greatly upon the situation of the sun; for, according to the direction of his rays, the shades and tints are every moment varying, and in a cloudy day the landscape loses much of its beauty.
The road from hence to Keswick is evident from the plan, and affords nothing new. I shall therefore give an account of some things at Keswick, which I could not so properly do before.
The church of Keswick, (properly called Crossthwaite Church,) is dedicated to St Cuthbert, and has under it five chapels of ease, viz. Borrowdale, St John's, Wythburn, Thornthwaite and Newlands; out of all these collectively are chosen the Church-wardens of Crossthwaite, and eighteen persons whom they call Sides-Men. These are sworn into their office on Ascension-day by the Vicar; a custom I believe used in no other place. This church is under the patronage of the Bishop of Carlisle.
* A carucate of land signifies so much as one plough is able to cultivate in a year; and is derived from the old word Caru, signifying a plough.
gazetteer links
button -- "Monks Hall" -- Monk Hall
button -- "Armathwaite" -- Ormathwaite Hall
button -- Bassenthwaite Lake circuit
button -- "Skiddow" -- Skiddaw
button -- "Crossthwaite Church" -- St Kentigern's Church
button -- (station, Crosthwaite Vicarage)
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