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

button title page
button previous page button next page
Page 125:-

book 4
  chapter 4


Rydale -- unnoticed by Mr Gray -- Account of it -- Manor of Rydale -- Family of the Flemings -- Causeway made by a clergyman and his scholars -- Arrival at Ambleside.
  Rydal Water
LEAVING Grassmere, and descending along the common, we see Rydale or Rydall-Water. This is a pretty little Lake three quarters of a mile long, spotted beautifully with little islands, and surrounded with broken stupendous mountains. Next descend to the slate quarry at the bottom of the hill called White Moss quarry: The vein of slate is now worn out, but produced, not above two years ago, as good slate as any in England, only difficult to work, and attended with a great expence. This quarry being so near the road, was entertaining to many curious travellers, who wished to see the manner of raising and working the slate. On the left is a very rugged mountain covered with wood halfway up from its base: on the right lyes the Lake, close by whose side is a very good road, which makes it extremely agreeable to the traveller in this wilderness.
This little Lake affords two or three very good views: Mr Farrington has made choice of one from the low end, which I do not much admire, as the station is rather too low; but Mr Hannan took two others, which I like better. I, however, already described so many that I will leave the traveller chuse for himself, and those who may read this, and not travel, have already had enough of description: let it suffice then to say, that this Lake hath several little islands upon it, and is surrounded with woods and mountains, and that the largest island is covered with wood, and has a small house upon it, so that we have variety enough; but there is not one station where the landscape closes, both on the right and the left.
Rydale is a small scattered village; the hall, with the manor, belongs to Sir Michael le Fleming, Baronet, member of parliament for the county of Westmorland. The hall stands upon a rising ground above the village, and is a beautiful retreat, situated in a pleasant country, and sheltered from the North and East by tall oaks of many hundred years growth; it commands an extensive view of Winandermere, and on a still evening is made yet more delightful by the softened noises of distant water-falls, which the echoes reverberate in an infinite variety of tones. Mr Gray passed this place, like many others, in silence; perhaps he might think that the large old-fashioned fabric, as he calls it, could afford nothing entertaining.
Two rivers meet here; the one flows from Grassmere, (beginning at Dunmail-Rays,) into Rydale-water, when passing the village it joins the other; this runs from Rydale-head through Rydale-park, forming two noble cascades, (one of which is near the hall.) The two streams, when joined, take the name of Rothay, which runs with a variety of windings into Winandermere. Neither Mr Farrington, Mr West, nor any other of our tourists or painters tell us of a landscape here. Mr Gray valued one at Vicarage near Keswick at L.1000, I should value this at L.1500. The view is taken from a little hill on the other side of Rydale-Beck; two bridges and serpentine rivers are seen in front; close behind, on an ascent, is Rydale-Hall, the village of Rydale, and a pretty house of George Knott, Esquire; then the woods, intersected by cascades, hastily rise to the stupendous mountains, which make up the back ground. All these are at a small distance, and the hanging gardens of Rydale-Hall add not a little to the view.
Rydale is in the parish of Grassmere, which takes in half the town of Ambleside; the
gazetteer links
button -- Heron Island
button -- Rydal Beck
button -- "Rydale Hall" -- Rydal Hall
button -- "Rydale Water" -- Rydal Water
button -- "Rydale" -- Rydal
button -- "White Moss Quarry" -- White Moss Slate Quarry
button next page

button to main menu Lakes Guides menu.