button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 208:-
both ways; in front rises Wallow-crag and Castle-hill, the town, the road to Penrith, Skiddaw, and Saddleback. Returning met a brisk and cold north-eastern blast, that ruffled all the surface of the lake, and made it rise in little waves that broke at the foot of the wood. After dinner walked up the Penrith road two miles, or more, and turning into a cornfield to the right, called Castle-rigg, saw a druid circle of large stones, 108 feet in diameter, the biggest not eight feet high, but most of them still erect: they are fifty in number [1]. The valley of St. John appeared in sight, and the summits of Cachidecam (called by Camden Casticand) and Helvellyn, said to be as high as Skiddaw, and to rise from a much higher base.
Oct. 6. Went in a chaise eight miles along the east side of Bassenthwaite-water to Ouse-bridge, the road in some part made, and very good, the rest slippery and dangerous cart road, or narrow rugged lanes, but no precipices; it runs directly along the foot of Skiddaw. Opposite to Wythop brows, clothed up to the top with wood, a very beautiful view opens down the lake, which is narrower and longer than that of Keswick, less broken into bays and without islands [2]. At the foot of it, a few paces from the brink, gently sloping upwards, stands Armathwaite, in a thick grove of Scotch firs, commanding a noble view directly up the lake; at a small distance behind the house is a large extent of wood, and still behind this a ridge of cultivated hills on which, according to the Keswick proverb, the sun always shines. The inhabitants here, on the contrary, call the vale of Derwent-water, the Devil's chamberpot, and pronounce the name of Skiddaw-fell, which terminates here
[1] See this piece of antiquity more fully described, with a plate annexed, by Mr. Pennant, in his second tour of Scotland, 1772, page 38.
[2] It is somewhat extraordinary that Mr. Gray omitted to mention the islands on Derwent-water, one of which, I think they call it Vicar's island, makes a principal object in the scene. See Smith's view of Derwent-water.
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gazetteer links
button -- "Armathwaite House" -- Armathwaite Hall
button -- "Bassenthwaite Water" -- Bassenthwaite Lake
button -- Castle Hill (?)
button -- Castlerigg Stone Circle
button -- "Cachidecam" -- Catstye Cam
button -- "Vicar's Island" -- Derwent Isle
button -- "Lake of Keswick" -- Derwent Water
button -- Helvellyn
button -- Ouse Bridge
button -- Bassenthwaite Lake circuit
button -- Saddleback
button -- Skiddaw
button -- (St John's in the Vale)
button -- station, Fawe Park
button -- "Vale of Derwent Water" -- Vale of Keswick
button -- "Wallow Cragg" -- Walla Crag

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