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

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Page 305:-
on the opposite side of which wound our future track; for the ascent is here in an acutely zig-zag direction. The horses carefully picked their steps along the narrow precipice, and turned the angle that led them to the opposite side.
At length, as we ascended, Derwent-water dwindled on the eye to the smallness of a pond, while the grandeur of its amphitheatre was increased by new ranges of dark mountains, no longer individually great, but so from accumulation - a scenery to give ideas of the breaking up of a world. Others (sic) precipices soon hid it again; but Bassenthwaite continued to spread immediately below us, till we turned into the heart of Skiddaw, and were inclosed by its steeps. We had now lost all track, even of the flocks that were scattered over these tremendous wilds. The guide conducted us by many curvings among the heathy hills and hollows of the mountain; but the ascents were such, that the horses panted in the slowest walk, and it was necessary to let them rest every six or seven minutes - An opening to the south, at length, showed the whole plan of the narrow vales of St. John and of Nadale, separated by the dark ridge of rocks called St. John's Rigg, with each its small line of verdure at the bottom, and bounded by enormous grey fells, which we were, however, now high enough to overlook. A white speck on the top of St. John's Rigg, was pointed out by the guide to be a chapel of ease to Keswick, which has no less than five such scattered amongst the fells. From this chapel, dedicated to St. John, the rock and the vale have received their name; and our guide told us that Nadale was frequently known by the same title.
Leaving this view, the mountain soon again shut out all prospect, but of its own vallies and precipices, covered with various shades of turf and moss, and with heath, of which a dull purple was the prevailing hue. Not a tree or bush appeared on Skiddaw, nor even a stone wall any where broke the simple greatness of its lines. Sometimes we looked into
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gazetteer links
button -- "Bassenthwaite-water" -- Bassenthwaite Lake
button -- Derwent Water
button -- High Rigg
button -- Skiddaw
button -- "Vale of St John" -- St John's Church
button -- "Vale of St John" -- (St John's in the Vale)

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