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

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Page 211:-
the strange broken outline of its top, like some gigantic building demolished, and the stones that composed it flung across each other in wild confusion. Just beyond it, opens one of the sweetest landscapes that art ever attempted to imitate. The bosom of the mountains spreading here into a broad bason discovers in the midst Grasmere-water: its margin is hollowed into small bays, with bold eminences; some of rock, some of turf, that half conceal and vary the figure of the little lake they command; from the shore a low promontory pushes itself far into the water, and on it stands a white village, with the parish church rising in the midst of it; hanging inclosures, corn-fields and meadows, green as an emerald, with their trees, and hedges, and cattle, fill up the whole space from the edge of the water; and just opposite to you is a large farm house, at the bottom of a deep smooth lawn, embosomed in old woods, which climb half way up the mountains' sides, and discover above them a broken line of crags that crown the scene. Not a single red tile, no gentleman's flaring house, or garden walls, break in upon the repose of this little unsuspected paradise; but all its peace, rusticity, and happy poverty, in its neatest, most becoming attire.
The road here winds over Grasmere-hill, whose rocks soon conceal the water from your sight; yet it is continued along behind them, and contracting itself to a river, communicates with Rydal-water, another small lake, but of inferior size and beauty: it seems shallow too, for large patches of reeds appear pretty far within. Into this vale the road descends. On the opposite banks large and ancient woods mount up to the hill; and just to the left of our way, stands Rydal-hall, the family seat of Sir Michael le Fleming, a large old-fashioned fabric, rounded with wood. Sir Michael is now on his travels, and all this timber, far and wide, belongs to him. Near the house rises a huge crag, called Rydal-head, which is said to command a full view of Windermere, and I doubt it not;
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gazetteer links
button -- "Grasmere Hill" -- Grasmere Common
button -- "Grasmere Water" -- Grasmere
button -- Grasmere
button -- Helm Crag
button -- Ambleside to Keswick
button -- Rydal Hall
button -- Rydal Head
button -- Rydal Water
button -- St Oswald's Church

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