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

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Page 75:-
  roman fort, Ambleside
Just at the head of Windermere, and a little short of Ambleside, turn down a bye-road to the left, and see the vestige of a Roman station. It lies in a meadow, on a level with the lake, and, as supposed, was called the Dictis, where a part of the cohort Nerviorum Dictenium was stationed. It is placed near the meetings of all the roads from Penrith, Keswick, Ravenglass, Furness, and Kendal, which it commanded, and was accessible only on one side.

Here nothing at present is found of all that Camden mentions of this place. So swift is
[1] (Amboglana, Notit. Imper. Dictis. Horsley).- Though the author has not mentioned the circumstance, it is supposed that the natural beauties of this part of the country are equal in variety and perfection to any to be seen in the tour, and that the lover of landscape in viewing many an undescribed scene, would be highly gratified and delighted. But it is judged best not to descend into particulars. Let the admirer of rural nature please himself in their discovery as well as examination.
Also, if the tourist love mountainous prospects, he may meet with one, in about a three hour's ride from this place, that will not fail to please him. It is on Low-pike, in Rydal-park, from whence may be seen many of the lakes, as Rydal-water, Grasmere-water, Windermere-water, Blencow-tarn, Elter-water, Esthwaite-water, and Coniston-water, also the Isle of Walney, Pile of Foudry, the whole of Duddon, Ulverston, Lancaster, and Millthorp Sands; the mountain Ingleborough, and at an opening between two hills, the hideous rocks of Borrowdale. A further walk of about an hour will give view of Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Ulls-water, the Vale of St. John, and other parts of Cumberland.- This mountainous excursion over, the following lines may not unaptly be introduced to the reader's notice.-
Descending now from AEther's pure domain,
By fancy borne to roam the nether plain,
Behold all-winning novelty display'd
Along the vale, the mountain, and the shade,
The scenes but late diminutive, resume
Their native grandeur, and their wonted bloom.
The woods expand their umbrage o'er the deep
And with ambitious aim ascend the steep,
Stage above stage, their vig'rous arms invade,
The tallest cliffs, and wrap them in the shade.
Each in its own pre-eminence regains
The high dominion of the subject plains
Smiling beneath, such smiles the people wear,
Happy in some paternal monarch's care.
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gazetteer links
button -- Ambleside
button -- "Dictis" -- Galava
button -- station, Low Pike

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