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

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Page 59:-
see when he gets there and steps into the field on the left, to look abroad from the brow. He then passes under its old trees to where the voice of falling waters calls him onward. Scandale Beck comes tumbling down its rocky channel, close at hand. He must cross the bridge, and follow the cart-road, which brings him out at once upon the fells. What he has to aim at is the ridge above Rydal forest or park, from whence his way is plain,- round the whole cul-de-sac of Fairfield, to Nab Scar. He sees it all; and the only thing is to do it: and we know of no obstacle to his doing it, unless it be the stone wall which divides the Scandale from the Rydal side of the ridge. These stone walls are an inconvenience to pedestrians, and a great blemish in the eyes of strangers. In the first place, however, it is to be said that an open way is almost invariably left, up every mountain, if the rover can but find it; and, in the next place, the ugliness of these climbing fences disappears marvellously when the stranger learns how they came there.- In the old times, when there were wolves, and when the abbots of the surrounding Norman monasteries encouraged their tenants to approach nearer and nearer to the Saxon fastnesses, the shepherds were allowed to inclose crofts about their hillside huts, for the sake of browsing their flocks on the sprouts of the ash and holly with which the hillsides were then wooded, and of protecting the sheep from the wolves which haunted the thickets. The inclosures certainly spread up the mountain sides, at this day, to a height where they would not be seen if ancient custom had not drawn the lines which are thus preserved; and it
gazetteer links
button -- Fairfield ascent 1855
button -- Nook End Farm
button -- (stone walls, Cumbria)
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