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placename:- Bassenthwaite Lake circuit
parish Underskiddaw parish, once in Cumberland
parish Bassenthwaite parish, once in Cumberland
parish Setmurthy parish, once in Cumberland
parish Wythop parish, once in Cumberland
parish Above Derwent parish, once in Cumberland
county:- Cumbria
route
10Km square:- NY22
10Km square:- NY23
road code:- Bas

source:- Martineau 1855

Guide book, A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, by Harriet Martineau, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, and by Whittaker and Co, London, 1855; published 1855-71.
Page 88:-
... the drive of eighteen miles round it is, in truth, a very pleasant one.
Page 89:-
... The side opposite Skiddaw is the most interesting of the two; so the traveller takes it first. The road passes through Portinscale and Braithwaite to Thornthwaite, and leaves Whinlatter on the left. It passes through woods and pretty glades which make a charming foreground, while old Skiddaw fills the view on the opposite shore. Lord's Seat and Barf rise boldly to the left, and the road runs, for the most part, on the margin of the lake. It winds round, after passing Peel Wyke, to Ouse Bridge, beneath which the lake discharges itself in the form of the much enlarged river Derwent, which flows away towards Cockermouth. ... From Castle Inn, it is eight miles to Keswick. The road turns away from the lake, and presents nothing more of remarkable beauty.
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834)

Guidebook, Concise Description of the English Lakes, later A Description of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirky Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823 onwards.
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Page 22:-
... tourists who have leisure for a ride or a drive of eighteen miles, round this lake [Bassentwhaite Lake], may obtain some pleasing views; especially from the foot of the lake, and from some points of Wythop woods. ...
...
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Page 135:-
DRIVE ROUND BASSENTHWAITE LAKE.
... tourists who prefer an easy journey, will find objects to please, in a perambulation of 18 miles round this lake. On the western side the road is much improved, and rendered very commodious for travelling; it is some parts enclosed in woods, in others opening to excellent views. There is a public-house at Peel Wyke on the western side, another at Castle Inn on the eastern. The road at the foot of the lake is much encumbered by trees; but by walking a few paces through a gate, nearly opposite Armathwaite Hall, the prospect from the margin of the lake is extensive; and the botanist may perhaps find something worth his notice. On the eastern side, the traveller would sometimes wish for a nearer approach to the lake; but few would think themselves repaid for the trouble of visiting West's stations on the promontories of Broadness and Scarness.
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Page 136:-
Those who are not inclined to make the whole circuit of the lake, may take a ride by the foot of Skiddaw, to a station a little above the road upon an open common, at the distance of five miles from Keswick. Here the principal part of the lake may be seen, with the three bold promontories of Bowness, Broadness, and Scarness, and in returning (if on horseback or on foot) take the upper road, by Milbeck, Applethwaite, and Ormathwaite, from whence some of the best views of Derwent Lake and its environs will be found. From Applethwaite or Ormathwaite, they may either take the nearest road to Keswick, or proceed by Mr. Calvert's occupation way along the side of Latrigg, and enter the town by the Penrith road.
date:- 1823
period:- 19th century, early; 1820s

old text:- Clarke 1787

Guide book, A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, by James Clarke, Penrith, Cumberland, and in London etc, 1787 and 1789; and Plans of the Lakes ... 1793.
Page 93:-
...
We now travel along Wythop-brow, on a good road, though not very much frequented, but made (as all the roads near the lakes are) for the conveniency of travellers; this road leads along a steep bank, covered from top to bottom with healthy, thriving oaks, which form a grateful and refreshing shade. Passing Beck Wythop and Smiddy Green, which form two beautiful little openings (as if from night to day) we come to Sawyers Cragg; here the road takes a curious turn, as may be seen from the plan, No VIII. Along this road is the best view of Bassenthwaite-Water and Vale, and the best station for this is a little before you come to Sawyers Cragg.
...
From Sawyer-Cragg we descend a steep hill towards Peelwike; this serpentine road is better seen in the map, (plate VIII.) than I can describe it, and the reason of its remarkable turns is owing to a very steep rock, and a peat-mire at the high end of it, both of which are impassable.
...
Page 97:-
...
We now leave Armathwaite, and proceeding towards Keswick, meet with a very perplexed road; to this, however, the plan will be a sufficient guide. The road leads through rich inclosures, with serpentine hedges; these, though both beautiful and fashionable, are by no means profitable, for they are a very great obstruction to the plough.
...
... The road we now travel is very agreeable and well-finished, about 200 yards excepted, which leads from Sawyer-Cragg to Peel-Wike. Since the division of the common, every thing shews the marks of improvement, joined with natural beauty, and some remains of its primeval wildness.
...
Page 100:-
...
From hence [Ormathwaite] are two roads to Keswick, as will appear by the plan: the road by Monks-Hall does not, however, afford any thing entertaining, and is, besides, viewed in our road to Skiddow. ...
The other road which leads past the vicarage affords the grandest view for the artist of any in this country. Mr Gray describes it, but did not leave his road for it; and only viewed from the horsing-stone at the parsonage house ...
date:- 1787
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s

old map:- Clarke 1787 map (Bassenthwaite Lake)

Map series, lakes and roads to the Lakes, by James Clarke, engraved by S J Neele, 352 Strand, London, included in A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, published by James Clarke, Penrith, and in London etc, from 1787 to 1793.
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To WITHOP
And a hand pointing the way.
road
date:- 1787
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s

old map:- Crosthwaite 1783-94 (Bas)

Series of maps, An Accurate Map of the Matchless Lake of Derwent, of the Grand Lake of Windermere, of the Beautiful Lake of Ullswater, of Broadwater or Bassenthwaite Lake, of Coniston Lake, of Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater Lakes, and Pocklington's Island, by Peter Crosthwaite, Kendal, Cumberland now Cumbria, 1783 to 1794.
In the map title:-
... NB. When Company wish to visit all West's Stations, and go from KESWICK down the East Side of this Lake; it will most convenient First to proceed to Bradness; second Scarness, Third Sir F. F. Vane's Bart, Fourth the Inn, and from thence along the Western Shore to the last.
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Round the Lake
Keswick
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Road round the Lake.
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road
date:- 1783=1794
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s; 1790s

descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821)

Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
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Page 118:-
...
BASSENTHWAITE-WATER.
Having seen the glory of Keswick, the beauties of the lake, and the wonders of the environs, there remains a pleasant ride to Ouse-bridge, in order to visit the lake of Bassenthwaite. Messrs. Gray and Pennant took the ride, but did not see the beauties of the lake, either for want of time or proper information.
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Page 119:-
Mr. Pennant says, 'Pass along the vale of Keswick, and keep above Bassenthwaite-water, at a small cultivated distance from it: this lake is a fine expanse of 4 miles in length, bounded on one side by high hills, wooded in many places to their bottoms; on the other side, by fields, and the skirts of Skiddaw.
'From Mr. Spedding's, of Armathwaite, at the low extremity of the lake, you have a fine view of the whole.'
Mr. Gray allowed himself more time for particulars. 'October 6,' he says, 'went in a chaise, eight miles, along the east side of Bassenthwaite water, to Ouse-bridge; it runs directly along the foot of Skiddaw. Opposite to Wythop-brows, clothed to the top with wood, a very beautiful view opens down to the lake, which is narrower and longer than that of Keswick, less broken into bays, and without islands; at the foot of it, a few paces from the brink, gently sloping upwards, stands Armathwaite, in a thick grove of Scotch firs, commanding a noble view directly up the lake. At a small distance behind this, a ridge of cultivated hills, on which, according to the Keswick proverb, the sun always shines; the inhabitants here, on the contrary, call the vale of Derwent-water, the devil's chamberpot, and pronounce the name of
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Page 120:-
Skiddaw-fell, which terminates here, with a sort of terror and aversion. Armathwaite-house is a modern fabric, not large, and built of dark red stone.'
...
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Page 123:-
... from Scareness, take the road to Bassenthwaite-halls (a few houses so called) and from the road on the north side of the village, called Rakes, you have a very fine view of a rich cultivated tract, stretching along the banks of the lake, and spreading itself upwards to the skirts of Skiddaw. The elevation is such, that every object is seen completely, and every beauty distinctly marked. The lakes appears in its full magnitude, shaded by a bold wooded shore on the west, and graced by a sweet spreading vale on the east, that terminates in a bold style under the surrounding mountains. The sloping ground to the bridge is charming, and the far-extended vales of Embleton and Isel lie in fine perspective. The river Derwent has his winding course through the latter.
...
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Page 126:-
...
From Caer-mot descend to Ouse-bridge, and return to Keswick up the western side of the lake. Every lover of landscape should take this ride in the afternoon; and if the sun shine it is exceedingly pleasant. The road branches off from the great road to Cockermouth, a little below the bridge, and leads through the wood, and round Castle-how. In some places it rises above the lake a considerable height, and the water is agreeably seen at intervals through a screen of low wood that decks its banks. Then the road descends to the level of the water, and presents you with a variety of surprising views, in different styles, that show themselves in an agreeable succession, as the eye wanders in amazement along the lake.
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Addendum; Mr Gray's Journal, 1769
Page 208:-
...
Oct. 6. Went in a chaise eight miles along the east side of Bassenthwaite-water to Ouse-bridge, the road in some part made, and very good, the rest slippery and dangerous cart road, or narrow rugged lanes, but no precipices; it runs directly along the foot of Skiddaw. Opposite to Wythop brows, clothed up to the top with wood, a very beautiful view opens down the lake, ...
person:- : Pennant, Thomas
person:- : Gray, Mr
date:- 1769; 1778
period:- 18th century, late; 1760s; 1770s

old road map:- Rumney 1899

Guide book, The Cyclist's Guide to the English Lake District, by A W Rumney, published by George Philip and Son, 32 Fleet Street, London, and Liverpool, 1899.
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Road map, strip map, gradient diagram, and itinerary for Route XI, Round Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumberland, scale about 2 miles to 1 inch, by A W Rumney, published by George Philip and Son, 32 Fleet Street, London, and Liverpool, 1899.
On p.41 of the Cyclist's Guide to the English Lake District, by A W Rumney.
printed at top:-
Route XI. - ROUND BASSENTHWAITE LAKE.
date:- 1899
period:- 19th century, late

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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