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included in:-  

 Wasdale Head Inn, Wasdale Head
included in:-  

 Wasdale, Nether Wasdale
Wasdale Head: Will Ritson
evidence:-   old photograph:- Bogg 1898
source data:-   Photograph, halftone print, Will Ritson, Wasdale Head Inn, Nether Wasdale, Cumberland, by Edmund Bogg 1898
image  click to enlarge
Included on p.205 of Lakeland and Ribblesdale, published by Edmund Bogg, 3 Woodhouse Lane, and James Miles, Guildford Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, 1898. 
item:-  JandMN : 231.89
Image © see bottom of page

A plaque on the Wasdale Head Inn states that it was the home of Will Ritson 1808-90, who as landlord related many tall stories. He has a reputation as Cumberland's greatest liar. The Biggest Liar in the World Competition has been held here annually, from 1974, on the 3rd Thursday in November.
Will Ritson won his reputation with a story of crossing his hounds with eagles to produce faster beasts.
More recently Joss Naylor told of crossing Herdwick sheep with Kangaroos, the sheeparoo lambs were safe from foxes in their mother's pouch.

Wil Ritson, Ald Will, was born at Row Foot, Wasdale, 1808. He worked as a guide to tourists. He once remarked to a clergyman as they neared the top of Scawfell:-
"Tha'll ne'er be nigher t'heaven than now."
He married and set up as innkeeper at Row Foot. The house was enlarged about 1850, and was known as The Huntsman's Inn. One of his friends was Professor Wilson, Professor of Moral Philosphy at Edinburgh, also known as Christopher North, poet. A tale is told about Wilson:-
"First time as Professor Wilson cam t'Wasdale Head he had a tent set up in a field, an he gat it weel stockt wi' bread an' beef, an' cheese, an' rum, an' ale, an' sech like. Then he giddered up my granfadder, an' Thomas Tyson, an' Isaac Fletcher, an' Joseph Stable, an' Robert Grave, an' some mair, an' there was gay deed amang them. Then nowt would sarra but he would hev a boat an' they must all hev a sail. Well, when they gat into t'boat he tell'd em to be particularly careful, for he was liable to get giddy i' t'head, an' id yan of his giddy fits sud chance to come he mud happen tumble into t'watter. Well, that pleased 'em all gaily weel, an' they said they'd tak varry girt care on him. Then he leaned back an' called oot that they must pull quicker. So they did an' what does Wilson do then but tipples ower eb'm on his back i' t'watter wi' a splash. Then there was a girt cry: 'Eh Maister Wilson's i' t'watter!' An' yan clickt anudder, but nean o' them could get a hod on him. An' there was sic a scrow as niver was. At last yan o' them gat him rouond the neck as he popped up, at t'teal o' t'boat, an Wilson toad him to keep a good hod, for he mud happen slip back again. But what, it was nowt but his bits o' pranks - he was smirkin' an' laughin' all t'time."
When old, Wil retired with his wife to the foot of Buckbarrow, where he died, 1890, and was buried at the church in Nether Wasdale.

person:-   innkeeperliar
 : Ritson, Will
place:-   birthplace
date:-   1808

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