button to main menu  Gents Mag 1747 p.523

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Gentleman's Magazine 1747 p.523
No such disagreeable objects interrupt the traveller here; if he guards against the precipices, he has no other danger to encounter.
The most common plants which I observed are,
Adianthum nigrum officinarum (of Ray) black maiden hair.
Lujula, acetosa sylvestris, wood or mountain sorrel.
Muscus squammosus montanus repens, sabinae folio.
Muscus clavatus juniperinis foliis reflexis, clavis singularibus sine pediculis. Several mosses of the capsulated kind.
Brush moss.
Rorella longifolia perennis, and other sun-dews.
The shrubs rising from the latices of the rocks, are dwarf birch, dwarf mountain oak, of so untractable a genius that no soil will meliorate it.
Fraxinus sylvestris, ornus montana, wild mountain ash, with red fruit. I do not remember to have seen this tree in the South, nearer than Derbyshire; it differs both in size and leaf from the service tree, of which species it is, according to the botanists, and is a very beautiful one when the fruit is ripe; the superstitious use it against witchcraft.
The only bird peculiar to these rocks is the raven.
It is a received Cumberland proverb, that the mountains of Caudebeck are worth all England besides, but it has not yet been verify'd by experience; and if we may be allow'd to conjecture from the nature of their stones, found in the rivulets and quarries, it may be difficult to say when they will. Most of their lapilli are a fluor of the stalactite kind, or a sparry talc resembling white flint, variegated with hexagonal crystalline spars, whose points will cut glass like the adamant, but immediately lose that property from their fragil quality. Others are impregnated with the marcasite of lead, but so blended with an arsenical sulphur that they evaporate in the process of separation, and others are of the copperas kind; all of them containing such heterogeneal qualities in their composition, as never to yield a proper gratification for the tryal. Their quarries, also, only abound with a fissile blue-ish slate, useful for the covering of their houses, but very remote from the metalline nature: Indeed in Brandlegill-beck, and the Northern descents, copper has been formerly dug, but the mines are long since worn out; hereabouts the lapis calaminaris is also found.
Under mount Skiddow is the head of the river Cauda; it issues thro' a narrow trough, and takes its winding course with great rapidity to Mosedale, where it turns northward for Carlisle. Near two miles above that village (Mosedale) it receives a small rivulet from Bouscale-tarn, a lake near a mile in circumference, on the side of a high mountain, so strangely surrounded with a more eminent amphitheatrical ridge of quarry rocks, that it is excluded the benefit of the sun for at least four months, in the middle of winter; but this is not its only singularity. Several of the most credible inhabitants thereabouts, affirming that they frequently see the stars in it at mid-day; but in order to discover that phaenomenon, the firmament must be perfectly clear, the air stable, and the water unagitated. These circumstances not concurring at the time I was there, depriv'd me of the pleasure of that sight, and of recommending it to the naturalists upon my own ocular evidence, which I regret the want of, as I question if the like has been any where else observed. The spectator must be situated at least 200 yards above the lake, and as much below the summit of the semi-ambient ridge; and as there are other high mountains, which in that position may break and deaden the solar rays, I can only give an implicit credit to the power of their agency, 'till I am convinc'd of their effects, and am qualified to send it better recommended to the publick.
At Grisedale the water turns bothways, so that in a sudden shower you may with your foot only, send the rain-water, either to Carlisle or Cockermouth, by the channels of Cauda or Lender-maken. This last springs under Saddle back, a Parnassian eminence, with two prominent peaks; the most northerly is called Blencarter, a suprizingly high precipice of the quarry kind.
Souter-fell is a distinguish'd mountain of itself, encompass'd quite round with a turbinated trough, thro' which the Lender-maken is convey'd. The West and North sides are barricadoed with rocks, the East is more plain but withal steep, and seemingly 900 yards in height, but every where of difficult access. It was on this Fell that the astonishing phaenomenon appear'd to exhibit itself, which in 1735, 1737 and 1745 made so much noise in the North, that I went on purpose to examine the spectators, who asserted the fact, and continue in their assertion very positively to this day.
gazetteer links
button -- Blackhazel Beck
button -- "Bouscale Tarn" -- Bowscale Tarn
button -- Caldbeck Fells
button -- "Cauda, River" -- Caldew, River
button -- "Lendermacken" -- Glenderamackin, River
button -- "Blencarter" -- Hallsfell Top
button -- "Grisedale" -- Mungrisdale Common
button -- "Souter Fell" -- Souther Fell
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