button to main menu  British Rainfall 1867, p.13

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British Rainfall 1867 page 13

Rainfall in The Lake District

So far as we present know, the two earliest rainfall observers in the British Isles resided in districts of which the mean annual fall is widely different. The one, Mr. Townley, found the mean amount to be about 41 in. at his house in Lancashire; while the Rev. W. Dereham found the fall near Romford, Essex, to be only 20 in.* Thus, in 1698, were the pioneers of rainfall investigations brought face to face with the fact that the rainfall in one part of England was double that in another. A century later, Dr. Dalton showed that the Upminster fall was trebled at Kendal and Keswick. Thirty years later, in 1839, Esthwaite Lodge, on the banks of Windermere, was found to have a mean fall nearly fourfold that of Upminster. A fall of 100 in., or five times the Upminster fall, was recorded in 1845, at Wastdale Head; and 120 inches, or six times the Upminster fall at Gatesgarth, Grasmere, and Langdale; and 150 inches, or seven times the Upminster fall at Seathwaite. In 1851, Dr. Miller's gauge at the Stye collected 169.62 in. (very nearly the true mean at that remarkable wet spot), being eight times the Upminster fall. In the year 1866 (a wet year), 224 in. were collected by Mr. Fletcher's gauge in nearly the same position, being eleven times the Upminster fall.
Now, all the records of 100 in. and upwards are from a small circle of less than three miles radius, and having Stye Head Tarn for its centre. But, though perhaps this embraces the finest scenery, and heaviest rainfall in the whole Lake district, it seemed of the highest interest to extend our sphere of observation, and ascertain the fall in the wide tract (about 120 square miles) known as the English Lakes. To this end I devoted the autumn of 1866; and the results I have now the pleasure of submitting, as a further contribution to the knowledge of the rainfall of that important district. A contribution only, because we still know nothing of the fall in the district west of Coniston Waterhead (round Coniston Old Man), near Brother's Water, or at the head of the river Sprint. There was, twelvemonths
* 23 in. if corrected for the height of his gauge above the ground; which is within an inch of the result of modern observations; thus the records of the 17th and 19th centuries are in perfect accordance.
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