button to main menu  Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 1855

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Page 133:-
flowing down the steep into the lake is called (as others in the district are) Sourmilk Ghyll; and it issues from Bleaberry, or Burtness Tarn, on the side of Red Pike. The pretty domain near the margin of the lake is Hasness (General Benson's.) Then comes Gatesgarth,- the farmstead whence the road to Scarf Gap is taken, by which, as we have told, London gentlemen and Kendal ladies have run into such extreme danger. From Gatesgarth begins one of the wildest bits of road in the district. It climbs Buttermere Vale, by an ascent at first gradual, and latterly extremely steep, to the base of Honister Crag. It is a vast stony valley, where sheep and their folds, and a quarryman's hut here and there, are the only signs of civilization. There are no bridges over the stream (the infant Cocker), which must be crossed many times; and where there are no stepping-stones, the pedestrian must wade. Every body walks up the last reaches of the ascent,- so steep and stony is the narrow road, and so formidable its unfenced state. The dark, stupendous, almost perpendicular, Honister Crag frowns above; and as the traveller, already at a considerable height, looks up at the quarrymen in the slate quarries near the summit, it almost takes his breath away to see them hanging like summer spiders quivering H from the eaves of a house.

These quarrymen are a hardy race, capable of feats of strength which are now rarely heard of elsewhere. No heavily-armed knight, who ever came here to meet the Scot (and there were such encounters on this spot in the ancient border wars) carried a greater weight, or
gazetteer links
button -- "Bleaberry Tarn" -- Bleaberry Tarn
button -- Cocker, River
button -- Gatesgarth
button -- Hassness
button -- Honister Pass
button -- Honister Slate Quarry
button -- "Sourmilk Ghyll" -- Sour Milk Gill
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