button to main menu  Otley's Guide 1823 (5th edn 1834)

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Page 32:-
THERE are numerous other receptacles of still water, which, being too small to merit the appellation of lakes, are called TARNS. When placed in a principal valley, (which however is not often the case,) they contribute little to its importance; and being in such situations often environed with swampy ground, seem to represent the feeble remains of a once more considerable lake. But in a circular recess on the side of a vale, or on a mountain, as they are generally placed, their margins being well defined, they become more interesting. Reposing frequently at the feet of lofty precipices, and sometimes appearing as if embanked by a collection of materials excavated from the basin which they occupy; they afford ample room for conjecture as to the mode of their formation. Being sheltered from the winds, their surface often exhibits the finest reflections of the rocks and surrounding scenery, highly pleasing to the eye of such as view them with regard to the picturesque; but it is more agreeable to the wishes of the angler, to see their surface ruffled by the breeze.

tarns, above Windermere
Tarns in the tributary streams of Windermere.

Elterwater is one of the largest of the Tarns; and having given its name to a small hamlet in Langdale, it became necessary in speaking of
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button -- "Elterwater Tarn" -- Elter Water
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