button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 154:-
it received its name of Brotherwater from the like circumstance happening once before. There are several more waters, about the size of this, upon the mountains of Patterdale, as Angle Tarn, Red Tarn, Hays Water, Keppel-Cove Tarn, Grisdale Tarn, all remarkably well stocked with fish. From a tree in the meadow below Broadwater, called Hartsop-high-field, is a view I very much admire; you have the best view of the road, &c. to a large quarry, from which the blue slate is brought down to the foot of the mountain, not by horses, but men: a man will carry eight hundred weight at a time, and go faster with it than without it; trials of that kind having been often made: The slate is laid upon a barrow, which is called a Trail Barrow; it hath two inclining handles, or stangs; between which the man is placed, going, like a horse, before the weight, and has nothing more to do than keep it in the tract, and prevent it from running too fast: those who are dexterous will not sometimes set foot on the ground for ten or twelve yards together: but the barrow will often run away with an unskilful person, which was my case when I made an attempt. The length that it is so carried is here about half a mile; the ascent so steep, that to many persons it is easier than the descent.
The road from hence to Ulswater is pleasant and easy, through level meadows, adjoining to hanging woods and lofty mountains, down which are many tumbling waters; the winds drive the sound sometimes full upon the ear, at other times it is scarcely heard, unless re-echoed from the other side of you: you see one part of the mountain in a dark shade, another in the brightest colour the sun's oblique beams can give, and where snowy flocks in full view spot the verdure like pictures upon a wall. We now arrive at Ulswater, from whence we proceed to Penrith, through the tracts we amply described before.
I have now given the best account I am able of these unfrequented tracts; in such places only are we to look for any remains of our primitive state; and we find almost every where plain indications of that spirit of enterprize and war for which our ancestors were so famous. The ruined tower, the subterraneous dungeon, the gloomy castle, are so many monuments of the feudal system, and those days when no man could sleep in any other security than what his valour and strength procured him. Of earlier ages we have many vestiges; roads, ruined forts, and inscriptions, point out the progress of the Roman power, whilst cairns, and other sepulchral monuments, mark the ground on where the British chiefs lay interred, and the circle of enormous stones points out the residence of the original Britons. Every forest is the subject of tradition: the brave actions of a few outlaws who lived upon the deer which then abounded, are in every old woman's mouth; and these stories, as we have seen, are often corroborated by undoubted facts.
To collect these, and to describe the various scenes of picturesque beauty, which are so plentifully scattered through this country, has been my endeavour. I was in hopes my abilities were equal to the task, but I found the labour so excessively great, that it was almost too much for one man to perform. Honest, plain narrative is all I can boast. I have neither attempted to please my readers by laboured descriptions of beauties which do not exist, nor have I endeavoured to veil my own ignorance behind a cloud of general epithets, which may apply to the description of one place as well as another. If some things are introduced which may seem ludicrous, I hope my readers will pardon me, when they reflect it was not my design to instruct only, but to entertain. If I have been so fortunate as to do both, I may say with Horace, - Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.


gazetteer links
button -- "Broadwater" -- Brothers Water
button -- Caudale Quarry
button -- Kirkstone to Patterdale
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