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

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Page 118:-
but the said weather was so cold, that he would suffer much needless pain: they then walked by the water-side till they came to this rock, which she told him she thought it fit for his purpose, as the water was deep enough at the edge to drown him: He was the going to throw himself directly in, but she told him he might hurt himself against the rock before he reached the water, so that he had better take a run and leap as far as he could: He followed her advice, very calmly put off his coat and took his leap: she staid till she saw him drowned, and then returned, fully satisfied that she had done her duty in giving him the best advice she could. This story she related to her neighbours, and I had the curiosity (for she is still alive,) to ask it from her own mouth.
We now reach Wytheburn, a small manor belonging to Sir Frederick Vane Fletcher, Baronet. The tenants are all customary, except one, (viz.) the tenement at the water-head, the owner of which is obliged to keep a stallion, a bull, and a boar, for the service of the tenants. The soil hereabouts is generally barren, and produces very little corn or grass; but their extensive common-right gives them an opportunity of keeping vast numbers of sheep; these, by their fleeces, procure a tolerable living for the inhabitants, who spin their wool themselves, and are always sure of a ready market for it.
Wytheburn chapel is a perpetual curacy under Crossthwaite, the ancient salary two pounds ten shillings; certified to the governors of Queen Anne's bounty at three pounds six shillings and fourpence, worth now thirty-one pounds a year. The chapel is a very poor low building, and not consecrated; their burying place is Crossthwaite.
I cannot say there is any thing very entertaining to a traveller in this valley: the road lyes under more tremendous mountains here than in any other place; they are loaden with large loose stones, which seem ready to drop from their sides on the smallest occasion; a sight of sufficient terror to hasten the traveller from a scene of such seemingly impending danger: an undaunted mind, indeed, would be entertained after a flood with the numerous and noble cascades that then may be seen. I was once stopped near the chapel by a thunder shower; and the sun afterwards shewing his face, I saw as grand a sight as eye ever beheld: as they say in this country, after a flood, "Every road's a sike, every sike's a beck, and every beck a river;" and so it was now; this was joined with the awful sounds of water, groaning for passage among the rocks, and obstructing stones, so that all nature seemed to be convulsed, and from the hidden cavities of the rocks shot forth sometimes a clear stream of water, which in an instant was changed to almost perfect red. This was caused by the removal of some large stone or other, when the earth, moved thereby, mingling with the water, gave it a blood colour. Those scenes were on every side of me, the noise was astonishing, and the water, which came down threatned to take away the houses both of God and the devil, (viz.) the church and the alehouse close by.
I got at a house near this place a buck's horn, which had either belonged to a species of deer I am not acquainted with, or had been a supernatural production. It was like the horn of a fallow-buck, the beam and brow-antlet of the common size, but the palm more than three times as large as any I ever saw: by the ordinary way of counting the age of the deer by their horns, it must have been near thirty years of age; an age no fallow-deer ever lived to. It is now at Crosthwaite's museum, Keswick; the people of the house could not give me any information about it, further than it had been there in their grandfather's time.
  Dunmail Raise
It is a pleasant enough road thro' these openings of the mountains, not being steep or troublesome, to Rays-Gap, or Dunmail-Rays, as it is called in all the old boundary rolls. Some will tell you that it had its name from Dunmail King of Cumberland, who in conjunction with Llewellyn King of South Wales, fought a battle with Edmund our Saxon King, and Malcolm King of Scots at this place; and that Edmund gained a com-
gazetteer links
button -- "Clark's Leap" -- Clark's Leap
button -- Dunmail Raise Stones
button -- "Rays Gap" -- Dunmail Raise
button -- Ambleside to Keswick
button -- Waterhead
button -- "Wytheburn Chapel" -- Wythburn Chapel
button -- "Wytheburn" -- Wythburn
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