button to main menu   Old Cumbria Gazetteer
placename:- Old Man of Coniston ascent 1855
site name:- Old Man of Coniston
parish Coniston parish, once in Lancashire
county:- Cumbria
Altitude 2628 feet
coordinates:- SD27239782
10Km square:- SD29

1Km square SD2797

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 167:-
There is one more [ascent] which the tourist would not excuse our omitting. He wants to see the copper mine and the series of tarns on Coniston Old Man; and he hears it said, and very truly, that the prospects are finer than any but those from Scawfell and Helvellyn,- if not, indeed, finer than the latter.
The ascent is best made by following the Walna Scar road which leads from Coniston into Seathwaite. When the traveller has left the bright and prosperous environs of Coniston behind him, and entered upon the moor, he begins to feel at once the exhilaration of the mountaineer. Behind him lies a wide extent of hilly country, subsiding into the low blue ridges of Lancashire. Below him he sees, when he turns, here and there a reach of the Lake of Coniston,- gray, if his walk be, as it should be, in the morning: gray, and reflecting the dark promontories in a perfect mirror. Amidst the grassy undulations of the moor, he sees, here or there, a party of peat-cutters, with their crate: and their white horse, if the sun be out, looks absolutely glittering, in contrast with the brownness of the ground. It is truly a wild moor; but there is something wilder to come. The Coniston Mountain towers to the right,- and the only traces of human existence that can be perceived are the tracks which wind along
Page 168:-
and up its slopes,- the paths to the coppermine,- and a solitary house, looking very desolate among its bare fields and fences. The precipice called Dow (or Dhu) Crag appears in front ere long; and then the traveller must turn to the right, and get up the steep mountain side to the top, as he best may. Where Dow Crag and the Old Man join, a dark and solemn tarn lies beneath the precipice, as he will see from above, whence it lies due west, far below. Round three sides of this Gait's Tarn, the rock is precipitous; and on the other, the crags are piled in grotesque fashion, and so as to afford,- as does much of this side of the mountain,- a great harbourage for foxes, against which the neighbouring population are for ever waging war. The summit is the edge of a line of rocks overhanging another tarn,- Low Water,- which is 2,000 feet above the sea level, while the summit of the Old Man is 2,632. ...
Page 169:-
The finest descent, though the longest, is by the ridge of Wetherlam, above Levers Water, descending into Tilberthwaite, and returning to Coniston through Yewdale, noticed at p.27.
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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