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

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Page 29:-

Wast Water
Is a lake full three miles in length and more than half a mile in breadth. Its depth, being lately sounded by some neighbouring gentlemen, was found to be 45 fathoms, and probably some parts may be still deeper; so that its bottom must be at least 15 fathoms below the level of the sea: and it is probably owing to its great depth in proportion to the extent of surface, that it has never been known to freeze; the duration of winter not being sufficient to cool the whole mass of water to that temperature which permits ice to be formed upon its surface.
The mountains environing Wast Water are lofty and majestic. A shivery mountain side called the Screes bounds the lake on the south-east, extending quite into the water; so that it cannot be passed on that side, even by a pedestrian, without considerable difficulty, and some danger. Looking up the lake, Yewbarrow forms a fine apex; Kirkfell pushes forwards its bold front on the left; at the head of the dale the pyramidical Gable appears conspicuous; Lingmell comes finely in view on the right, over which Scawfell and the Pikes reign pre-eminent; the Hay Cock may be seen through the lateral vale of Bowderdale, and the Pillar crowns the head of the branch called Mosedale: Middlefell, running along the margin of the lake on the spectator's side, and the Screes on the opposite, complete
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