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 Windermere lake
viewpoint, Claife
Claife Station
Claife Viewing Station
site name:-   Windermere Ferry
civil parish:-   Claife (formerly Lancashire)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   viewpoint
locality type:-   buildings
locality type:-   summer house
coordinates:-   SD38859547
1Km square:-   SD3895
10Km square:-   SD39

BPD54.jpg (taken 12.5.2008)  
BVV06.jpg (taken 27.1.2012)  

evidence:-   old map:- OS County Series (Lan 5 7) 
placename:-  Station, The
source data:-   Maps, County Series maps of Great Britain, scales 6 and 25 inches to 1 mile, published by the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, Hampshire, from about 1863 to 1948.

evidence:-   descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821) 
placename:-  station, Windermere, West 1
source data:-   Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
image WS21P057, button  goto source
Page 57:-  "STATION I [Windermere], near the isthmus of the ferry point [1]. In front, Rampsholme, or Berkshire-island, presents itself in all its length, clothed in wood. To the left, the ferry point closing with Crow-holme, a wooded island, forms a fine promontory. Just behind this, the mountain retiring inward, makes a semi-circular bay, surrounded by a few acres of the most elegant verdure, sloping upwards from the water's edge, graced with a cottage in the finest point of view. Above it, the mountain rises in an agreeable wildness, variegated with scattered trees, and silver-grey rocks. An extent of water of twelve miles in circum-"
"[1] This station is now sufficiently pointed out by the elegant building lately erected thereon, belonging to John Christian Curwen, Esq. and called THE STATION, which, with the improvements made in the Ferry-house Inn, and grounds adjoining, render it one of the most delightful places near the lakes."
image WS21P058, button  goto source
Page 58:-  "[circum]ference, spreads itself to the north, frequently intersected with promontories, or spotted with islands. Amongst them, the Holme, or Great Island, an oblong tract of thirty acres, traverses the lake in an oblique line, surrounded by a number of inferior isles, finely formed and dressed in wood. The pointed dark rocks of Curlew-craggs appear above the water, and others just concealed, give a sable hue to that part of the lake. Rough-holme, is a circular isle, covered with trees. Lady-holme, where in ancient times stood an oratory, is an isle of an oval form, vested with coppice-wood. Hen-holme is a rock covered with shrubs. Grass-holme is shaded with a grove of oaks. And two smaller islets borrow their names form the lilies of the valley, which decorate them. These with Crow-holme and Berkshire island, form this Archipelago."
"To the north of this magnificent scene, a glorious sheet of water expands itself to the right and left, in curves bearing from the eye; bounded on the west by the continuation of the mountain where you stand, whose bold lofty side is embellished with growing trees, shrubs, and coarse vegetation, intermixed with grey rocks, that group finely with the deep green of yews and hollies. The eastern view is a noble contrast to this, adorned with"
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Page 59:-  "all that is beautiful, grand and sublime.- The immediate space is much cultivated, (sic) The variety of hanging grounds are immense, consisting of woods, groves, and inclosures, all terminated in rocky woodlands of various forms. It spreads above in a beautiful variety of waving inclosures, intermixed with hanging woods, and shrubby circular spots, over-topped with wild grounds and rocky ridges of broken mountains. In some places it swells into spacious bays, fringed with trees, whose bushy heads wave beautifully over the crystal waters. The parsonage-house is seen sweetly seated under a range of tall firs. Following the same line of shore, above the east, ferry point, and on the banks of the bay, the tops of the houses and the church of Bowness are just seen. Above that, Bannerigg and Orresthead rise gradually into points, cultivated to the top, and cut into inclosures. These are contrasted by the rugged craggs of Biscot-how. Troutbeck-park comes next in view, and over that, Hill-bell rears its conic top, and Fair-field swells in Alpine pride, rivalled only by Rydal's loftier head."
"The eastern coast, to the south of what has been described, is still more pleasing in variety of little groves, interposed inclosures, and scattered houses, sweetly secreted. To"
image WS21P060, button  goto source
Page 60:-  "the south, and from the western coast, at three miles distance, Rawlinson's nab, a high-crowned promontory, shoots far into the lake; and from the opposite shore, you see the Storrs, another wooded promontory, stretching far into the water, pointing at the rocky isle of Ling-holme. Over Rawlinson's nab, the lake spreads out in a magnificent sheet of water; and following the winding shore far to the south, it seems lost hehind (sic) a promontory on the eastern side. Over two woody mountains, Park and Landen-nab, the blue summits of other distant mountains in various forms, close the scene."

evidence:-   old map:- Crosthwaite 1783-94 (Win/Ble) 
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, An Accurate Map of the Grand Lake of Windermere, scale about 2 inches to 1 mile, by Peter Crosthwaite, Keswick, Cumberland, 1783, version published 1819.
"Wests First Station,"
square symbol 
item:-  Armitt Library : 2008.14.102
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old map:- Crosthwaite 1783-94 (Win/Ble) 
placename:-  station, Windermere, West 1
source data:-   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.
marked on the map of lake Windermere, west shore above the ferry landing  "West's First Station ..."

evidence:-   old map:- West 1784 map
placename:-  Station, The
source data:-   Map, hand coloured engraving, A Map of the Lakes in Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, scale about 3.5 miles to 1 inch, engraved by Paas, 53 Holborn, London, about 1784.
"The Station"
item:-  Armitt Library : A1221.1
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   probably old map:- Cooke 1802
source data:-   Map, The Lakes, Westmorland and Cumberland, scale about 8.5 miles to 1 inch, engravedby Neele and Son, published by Sherwood, Jones and Co, Paternoster Road, London, 1824.
image  click to enlarge
"Mr Wests Station"
item:-  Hampshire Museums : FA2000.62.5
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G8051010, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1805 p.1010  "... The shores (as might be expected) are low and uncommanding. A lofty point of rock on the Western beach is occupied by a station house, erected by the same gentleman [as Belle Isle]. Here, after a laborious ascent, we gained little novelty of prospect, and surrendered much of the grandeur of the mountain scenery."

evidence:-   old text:- Green 1810
placename:-  Station House
source data:-   Set of prints, soft ground etchings, Sixty Studies from Nature, by William Green, Ambleside, Westmorland, drawn 1808-10, published 1810.
image GN14p014, button  goto source
page 15:-  "..."
"The Station House stands on a hill above the ferry, and was built by Mr. Brathwaite, from whom it was purchased by John Christian Curwen Esq. who likewise belongs to, and occasionally resides upon, the island. The"
image GN14p016, button  goto source
page 16:-  "Station commands an extensive and enchanting view of Windermere, and Curwen Island is the grand leading feature to which the eye is involuntarily led. ..."
"Comprehended under that angle of vision prescribed by the laws of perspective, all the principal islands with the well wooded Ferry House, are discovered in this view, and give an extraordinary richness to it; the lands on the opposite shores gracefully intersecting each other, and abundantly decorated with woods, are in unison with the islands. Cultivation is extended beyond the margin of the lake, high into Troutbeck and Applethwaite; and"
page 17:-  "the scene is closed at many miles distant from the eye by grand mountains, the principal of which is Hillbell."
"Near the banks of the lake, on the western shore, and to the left of the Great Island, comfortably situated, stands Calgarth, the seat of the Lord Bishop of Llandaff; and over the other end of the island, Brayrigg, that of the Rev. Fletcher Fleming; Old Calgarth lies between these houses. Bowness with its church and the pleasantly dispersed houses belonging to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Crump, appear beyond Crow Holm and the Ferry House. - South of Bowness, on a beautiful promontory, see Story, the property of Colonel Bolton, who has recently added a magnificent house to that built by the late Sir John Ledger, Bart. - should the grounds be appropriately decorated, the mansion, with its appendages, will be the most splendid on the banks of Windermere."
image GN14p018, button  goto source
page 18:-  "The view down the lake, if not equal to that over the island, is, at least, pleasing; it is featured with bays, several wooded promontories shooting far into the water; these are principally Stor's and Rawlinson's Nab."

evidence:-   old text:- Wordsworth 1810
placename:-  Station
item:-  larch trees
source data:-   Guide book, A Description of the Scenery of the Lakes, later A Guide through the District of The Lakes, by William Wordsworth, 1810-35.
image WW01pr06, button  goto source
page vi  "... The view from the Pleasure-house of the Station near the Ferry has suffered much from Larch plantations; this mischief, however, is gradually disappearing, and the Larches, under the management of the proprietor, Mr. Curwen, are giving way to the native wood. ..."

evidence:-   old print:- Green 1815
source data:-   Print, coloured aquatint, Curwens Island on Windermere from the Station, Claife, Lancashire, by William Green, Ambleside, Westmorland, 1815.
image  click to enlarge
Plate 10 in Lake Scenery. 
printed at upper right:-  "10"
printed at bottom:-  "CURWENS ISLAND on WINDERMERE from the STATION. / Published at Ambleside, June 1, 1815, by Wm. Green."
item:-  Armitt Library : A6646.9
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old print:- Green 1815
source data:-   Print, coloured aquatint, Foot of Windermere from the Station, Claife, Lancashire, by William Green, Ambleside, Westmorland, 1815.
image  click to enlarge
Plate 11 in Lake Scenery. 
printed at upper right:-  "11"
printed at bottom:-  "FOOT of WINDERMERE from the STATION. / Published at Ambleside, June 1, 1815, by Wm. Green."
item:-  Armitt Library : A6646.10
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old print:- Fielding and Walton 1821 (plate 10) 
placename:-  Station
source data:-   Print, coloured aquatint, Station on Windermere, ie The Station, Claife, Lancashire, drawn by John Walton, published by R Ackermann, 101 Strand, London, 1821.
image  click to enlarge
Tipped in opposite p.38 in A Picturesque Tour of the English Lakes. 
item:-  Dove Cottage : 1993.R566.10
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834) 
item:-  stained glass
source data:-   Guide book, A Concise Description of the English Lakes, the mountains in their vicinity, and the roads by which they may be visited, with remarks on the mineralogy and geology of the district, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland now Cumbria, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823; published 1823-49, latterly as the Descriptive Guide to the English Lakes.
image OT01P004, button  goto source
Page 4:-  "..."
"The Station, belonging to Mr. Curwen, is a building erected upon a rocky eminence above the Ferry house. The path leading to it is decorated with native and exotic trees and shrubs; the upper story commands extensive views of the lake and"
image OT01P005, button  goto source
Page 5:-  "surrounding scenery: and the windows, being partly of stained glass, give a good representation of the manner in which the landscape would be affected in different seasons. The view towards the north has every essential for a beautiful landscape; a bold foreground, a fine sheet of water graced with islands, the large one of Mr. Curwen, with its dome-topped building, being a principal feature; the village of Bowness, the mansions placed at various points, the rich woods, and distant mountains, all contribute to enrich the scene. Towards its foot, the shores of the lake appear beautifully broken, by several promontories stretching far into the water from each side."
image OT01P100, button  goto source
"... passing beneath the station, which is built upon a rock, tastefully ornamented with evergreens and flowering shrubs, and may be visited by the way. ..."

evidence:-   old print:- Westall 1830s
source data:-   Print, aquatint panorama, Lake Windermere, from the Summer House above the Ferry, Lancashire and Westmorland, drawn and engraved by William Westall, published by Ackermann and Co, 96 Strand, London, 1830s.
image  click to enlarge
"Wansfell. Lilly of the Valley Islands. Kirkstone. Calgarth. Hill Bell. Curwen's, or Berkshire Island. Ellery. Bowness-bay. Bowness. Vicarage. Ferry. Ferney Green. Bellfield. / Lake Windermere, / from the Summer House above the ferry. / Drawn & Engraved by W. Westall A.R.A. / Published by Ackermann & Co, 96 Strand."
item:-  Armitt Library : A6658.5
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843) 
placename:-  Station, House
placename:-  Station, The
source data:-   Guide book, A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by Rev William Ford, published by Charles Thurnam, Carlisle, by W Edwards, 12 Ave Maria Lane, Charles Tilt, Fleet Street, William Smith, 113 Fleet Street, London, by Currie and Bowman, Newcastle, by Bancks and Co, Manchester, by Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, and by Sinclair, Dumfries, 1839.
image FD01P029, button  goto source
Page 29:-  "..."
"On a hill above the Ferry is the Station House;"
image FD01P030, button  goto source
Page 30:-  "its windows are filled with glass, coloured so as to represent the landscape as it appears at the different seasons of the year. The lake is here seen at your feet, Curwen and all the islands studding its waters - the wooded parks and uplands of Troutbeck and Applethwaite - Hill Bell and High Street terminating the prospect. The view to the southward is a great contrast to this. Here the promontories of Rawlinson's Nab and Storrs Hall push boldly into the waste of waters, while the well-wooded but moderate heights of Gunner's How and Fell Foot close the distance."
image FD01P158, button  goto source
Page 158:-  "..."
"... Above the inn [Ferry House] is a pleasure-house, called the Station, whence some exquisite views are to be had."

evidence:-   old drawing:- Aspland 1840s-60s
placename:-  Station
source data:-   Drawing, pencil, Windermere lake, Westmorland, by Theophilus Lindsey Aspland, November 1868.
image  click to enlarge
"Station &c / Windermere. / Nov 68."
page number  "22"
item:-  Armitt Library : 2008.61.24
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old text:- Martineau 1855
placename:-  Station House
item:-  laurel
source data:-   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 1855-76.
image MNU1P030, button  goto source
Page 30:-  "... Station House, which he must have seen from the opposite side of the lake, peeping out of the ever-green woods. There he obtains fine views, up and down the lake, and may mark, on the way up, the largest laurels he has ever seen. His driver, or some resident, will probably take care that he does not stay till it is more than reasonably dusk. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Matthew 1866
placename:-  Summer House Station
source data:-   Guide book, The English Lakes, Peaks and Passes, from Kendal to Keswick, by George King Matthew, published by J Richardson, Highgate, Kendal, Westmorland, 1866.
p.19:-  "... let us take a trip to the Ferry Hotel and "The Station." The landing-place for passengers at the ferry is facing the hotel, where stands a row of tall plane-trees with their shadows reflected in the translucent lake. Beyond the avenue of trees, on the right hand, pass through the little gate into a private cart road; and a few steps further on is the high road; then turn to your right, and you will see a pair of gates on the left, which is the lodge-entrance to the Summer House Station. Take the footpath which goes winding away amid fir, wild-cherry, and large laurel trees, to the Summer House, an octagon building one storey high, with an embattled arch stretching away to the left, the property of Mr. Curwen, of Belle Isle, who kindly permits visitors to enter. On gaining the hall, and passing up a wide staircase on the left, we pass into a room with double glass windows which are coloured to represent the seasons, and looking out of these from this little fairy retreat we behold some of the most enchanting and illusive scenes of Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter presented to the eye. One masks the lake in the soft beauty of monlight; another a dark storm difficult to describe; while in"
p.20:-  "the winter scene the house-top on the opposite shore, looks as if it were covered with snow. From another pane is embodied the glories of summer. Evening is the best time to view from it, just before the clouds put on their ruddy burning tinges. Water, earth, and air are bathed in beauty as cirrus-clouds hang on the upper region of the atmosphere, chequered by the bending blue of space. The tone of the whole subject is a beautiful subdued harmony of the scenery around this delightful part of the lake. There is a melting and graceful beauty which charms into perfect repose, as the gazer involuntary sympathises with the listless happy rowers in the boats. The whole atmosphere breathes heat, and the golden sky is reflected back from the gently rippling water in blended beauty; the snow-white sails of the graceful yachts are tinged by the beams of the drooping god of day, and scarcely swell to the zephyr. ..."

evidence:-   database:- Listed Buildings 2010
placename:-  Station, The
source data:-  
courtesy of English Heritage
"THE STATION / / B 5285 / CLAIFE / SOUTH LAKELAND / CUMBRIA / II / 76726 / SD3883895472"
source data:-  
courtesy of English Heritage
"Viewing station. Late C18. Stone rubble. 2 storeys, with canted bays to front and rear, and embattled parapet. Now ruinous, the front wall collapsed. lst floor sill band, some slate hanging remains to rear. Large window openings to 1st floor of returns and narrow opening to remaining part of front wall. Lower recesses to ground floor of returns. Rear has canted bay with entrance and 1st floor window opening with flanking blind windows; narrow window openings to either side, with slate hanging to remains of parapet. Wall connects station with rock outcrop to rear, with round-headed archway and round-headed opening with foundations of structure to rear. Interior has remains of cross walls, rear gabled wall with stack and fireplace. Vaulted chamber to ground floor, rear canted bay has stone flying stair with moulded treads. The Station was used as a viewing point for Lake Windermere at the time when picturesque principles suggested that landscape should be viewed from certain points only, where the elements of scenery were most pictorial, and is associated with the early tourist industry. Property of The National Trust."

You could visit this station, turn your back to the view, hold up your landscape mirror, and see the view through coloroured glass windows. There was yellow glass for a golden summer glow; orange glass for autumn tints; pale green for springtime; pale blue for winter shivers; dark blue to simulate a moonlit scene; lilac for a mock thunder storm.
The building, erected 1790s, is near to Thomas West's chosen viewpoint.

person:-   author
 : West, Thomas
place:-   Windermere lake
date:-   1778
period:-   18th century, late
period:-   1780s
item:-   guide bookGuide to the Lakes

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