button to main menu   Old Cumbria Gazetteer
placename:- Wasdale
parish Nether Wasdale parish, once in Cumberland
county:- Cumbria
coordinates:- NY1606
10Km square:- NY10

1Km square NY1606


Wasdale -- Nether Wasdale -- Cumbria / -- NY183076 (etc) -- 4.4.2007

Wasdale -- Nether Wasdale -- Cumbria / -- 3.6.2011

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 113:-
[approaching Strands] ... when the circle of mountains round Wast Water opens before him. The lake is not visible; but there is no mistaking where it lies. To
Page 114:-
the right, and close at hand, the Screes present their remarkable sweep of débris, and crests streaked with red, grey, and vivid green, and here and there cloven for the passage of cataracts from the brow, which tumble down through the gloom of woods. Hawlghyll is the largest of these ravines. Next, the Scawfell peaks rise above the rest; and Great End just peeps over the shoulder of Lingmell. The cleft between Lingmell and Great Gable is Sty Head Pass; and to the left, from Great Gable, are Yewbarrow and Middlefell. The broken foreground on the common whence this view is seen adds greatly to its beauty. Descending upon Wastdale, the Irt is crossed; and then the road meets others on the green. ...
Page 119:-
... The road winds pleasantly round bays and over promontories, and the pyramidal Yewbarrow, Great Gable, which closes in the dale, and Lingmell and the Scawfell Pikes to the right, all explain themselves. Several brooks and rills are passed, flowing down from the valleys; and the stranger exclaims that he should like to spend a whole summer here, to explore all the ways among the mountains. ... The opening out of the dale head, when the valley has appeared to close in round the lake, is as wonderful a spectacle to strangers as any thing they see. The dale is one of those perfect levels, shut in by lake and mountains, which give a different impression from any other kind of scenery in the world. The passes themselves are so high as to leave no appearance of outlet, except by the
Page 120:-
lake; and of these passes there are but two,- the Sty Head and Mosedale paths. The green and perfect level, to which the mountains come down with a sheer sweep, is partly divided off into fields; and a few farm-houses are set down among the fields, on the bends of the gushing and gurgling stream. There is a chapel,... There is now a school:- a chapel and a school and no public house! ... It struck us that the children were dirtier than even in other vales, though the houses are so clean that you might eat your dinner off the board or the floor. But the state of children's skin and hair is owing to superstition, in all these dales; and the schoolmaster is the one who should cure the evil. A young lady who kindly undertook to wash and dress the infant of a sick woman, but who was not experienced in the process, exclaimed at the end "0 dear! I forgot it's hands and arms. I must wash them." The mother expressed great horror, and said that "if the child's arms were washed before it was six months old, it would be a thief;" and, added she, pathetically, "I would not like that." The hair and nails must not be cut for a much longer time, for fear of a like result.
Page :-
The Yorkshire people put the alternative of dirty and clean rather strongly in their proverb, "Better hev a bairn wi a mucky feace than wash its noase off:" but the Cumberland folk view the matter more in a moral way, and refuse to have their children baptised into thievery.
... Wastdale Head is the place whence the ascent of Scawfell should be made: but we must defer that; ...
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

old map:- Garnett 1850s-60s H

Map of the English Lakes, scale about 3.5 miles to 1 inch, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, 1850s-60s.
thumbnail GAR2NY10, button to large image

placename:- Wasdale
date:- 1850=1869
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s; 1860s

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.
image OT01P155, button   goto source.
Page 155:-
The SECOND division [of slate rocks] comprehends the mountains of Eskdale, Wasdale, Ennerdale, Borrowdale, Langdale, Grasmere, Patterdale, Martindale, Mardale, and some adjacent places; including the two highest mountains of the district, Scawfell and Helvellyn, as well as the Old Man at Coniston. All our fine towering crags belong to it; and most of the cascades among the lakes fall over it. There are indeed some lofty precipices in the former division; ...
date:- 1823
period:- 19th century, early; 1820s

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

Wasdale is a valley, and is not visible from Ennerdale, but the mountains to the north of it are.
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 WS21P293, button   goto source.
Account of Ennerdale, late 18th century
Page 293:-
... As he approaches the vale of Ennerdale, ... he will find the rugged scenery of the country gradually refining; and as he winds round the foot of the Pillar, he will discover a vista, which cannot fail to strike the most indifferent observer with astonishment and pleasure.
The mountains which serve to heighten this scene, and enhance its surprise, are Sty-head, Honister-crag, Wastdale, the Pillar, and Red-pike. ...

placename:- Wastdale
date:- 1760
period:- 18th century, late; 1760s

old map:- Smith 1751

Map of the Black Lead Mines in Cumberland, and area, scale about 2 miles to 1 inch, by George Smith, published in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1751.
thumbnail GM13b, button to large image

placename:- Warsdale
date:- 1751
period:- 18th century, late; 1750s

poem:- Drayton 1612/1622 text

Poem, Polyolbion, by Michael Drayton, published 1612, part 2 with Cumbria published by John Marriott, John Grismand, and Thomas Dewe, London, 1622.
page 164:-

placename:- Wasdale
date:- 1612; 1622
period:- 17th century, early; 1610s; 1620s

old map:- Drayton 1612/1622

Map, Cumberlande and Westmorlande, by Michael Drayton in part 2 of Polyolbion, probably engraved by William Hole; published by John Marriott, John Grismand, and Thomas Dewe, London, 1622.
thumbnail DRY520, button to large image
Lady reclining.

placename:- Wasedale
date:- 1622
period:- 17th century, early; 1620s

old print:-
thumbnail PR1262, button to large image
Print, Bridge at Wasdale, Cumberland, drawn and engraved by William Green, Ambleside, Westmorland, 1809.
A single span stone bridge spans a shallow rocky stream either bank of which is fringed with trees. Distant fells rise beyond.
printed at bottom centre:-
BRIDGE IN WASDALE. Published Ambleside. Augst 1st 1809 by W. Green.
period:- 19th century, early

tiny photograph, 
button to large Wasdale -- Nether Wasdale -- Cumbria / -- 13.7.2010

story 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, wher he died, 1890, and was buried at the church in Nether Wasdale.

button   Bell Rib, Nether Wasdale
button   Bowderdale, Nether Wasdale
button   Buckbarrow hill, Nether Wasdale
button   Buckbarrow, Nether Wasdale
button   Buckbarrow, Nether Wasdale (2)
button   Burnthwaite, Nether Wasdale
button   Crook Head, Nether Wasdale
button   Down in the Dale Bridge, Nether Wasdale
button   Down in the Dale, Nether Wasdale
button   Dropping Crag, Nether Wasdale
button   Forked Gully, Buckbarrow
button   Hidden Gully, Buckbarrow
button   Laft Face Climb, Buckbarrow
button   Lund Bridge, Nether Wasdale
button   Nether Wasdale
button   Netherbeck Bridge, Nether Wasdale
button   Overbeck Bridge, Nether Wasdale
button   Porter memorial, Nether Wasdale
button   Right Face Vlimb, Buckbarrow
button   Rowan Tree Gully, Buckbarrow
button   Screes, Wasdale
button   sheepfold, Nether Wasdale (3)
button   Wasdale Fell, Nether Wasdale
button   Wasdale Hall, Nether Wasdale
button   Wasdale Head Hall Farm, Eskdale
button   Wasdale Head Inn, Nether Wasdale
button   Wasdale Head, Nether Wasdale
button   Wast Water
button   Woodhow, Nether Wasdale

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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©  Martin and Jean Norgate: 2014
mailto button  email:- JandMN@norgate.freeserve.co.uk
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