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

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Page 116:-
From hence to the bridge extends the vale of St John, and not as West and our other Tourists have described it: the chapel stands upon Naddle Fell, just at the separation between St John's Vale and Wanthwaite Vale, and these two vales lye on one side of the mountain, and the other on the other. St Johns is a pretty valley, with a good road through it, and a fine prosect; and full in front we have a view of the highest of our northern Alps, Helvellyn.
Cambden speaking of Helvellyn calls it Lauvellin, and says that the country people had a proverb concerning it.

"Skiddow, Lauvellin, and Casticand,
Are the highest hills in all England."
"But the bye-word (as he calls it,) that he was taught when a child, and which continues the same still, is,

"Kidstowpike, Castycam, Helveyllin and Skiddow-man *,
Are the highest hills ever clumb by Englishmen."
  flood, St John's in the Vale
We now arrive at the bridge which crosses the river that runs from Thyrill-mere, or Leathes water: here we see Legberthwaite-mill, which with many other buildings was driven away by the violence of the water-spout A.D. 1749, of which we gave some account before. The second house above, called Lame John's, escaped by the water breaking on a rock above it called Green Cragg; hither were the inhabitants carried from the tops of their houses, which were found, after the inundation ceased, filled with sand and mud. The mountains above were covered with water, which flowed down their sides in an awful and irresistible torrent, leaving not a trace of vegetation behind it: in many parts it even carried away the soil, leaving the naked rocks like an immense ruin to testify its violence. Green Cragg alone shewed any signs of verdure, and there were very small, as it is almost a naked rock: the contrast, however, must have been extremely striking between this and the dark red soil of the adjacent mountains: at this time the hills have almost recovered their vegetation, and probably in a few years the only marks of this dreadful devastation will be the enormous heaps of great stones which the water tore from the mountains, hurried away with its impetuous current, and then left upon the more level valleys.
This Lame John's has been kept as a public house many years; but is so distant from the residence of the gauger, that he only visits it once a month, when the inhabitants give him notice at what time they intend to brew next: at one of these visits he found an old woman brewing so very small a quantity, that he was vexed at being summoned upon so fruitless an errand: she told him he might stay at home, for she brewed as she could afford. Small indeed was the quantity she could afford; - it was half-a-peck!
* Upon the highest part of Skiddow is a little round hill called the Man.
gazetteer links
button -- "Green Cragg" -- Castle Rock
button -- "Casticand" -- Catstye Cam
button -- "Lauvellin" -- Helvellyn
button -- "Kidstow Pike" -- Kidsty Pike
button -- "Lame John's" -- Lame John's
button -- "Legberthwaite Mill" -- Legburthwaite Mill
button -- "Skiddow" -- (Skiddaw, Underskiddaw (CL13inc)2)
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