Drawing 123: Memorial cairn, Caudale Moor
Direction of view: WNW
Notes: The cairn is now much larger than shown by Wainwright and (unsurprisingly) the wooden cross is long gone. Wainwright says that a tablet built into the cairn commemorated Mark Atkinson of the Kirkstone Pass Inn, who died on 14th June 1930. The monument was erected by his son, Ion Atkinson. This picture does not occur in any of Wainwright’s other published works.
Comments: I first took this picture (image 1) on 11th January 1979, a few days after my (successful) interview for a legal training contract with Cumbria County Council. Peter Messenger and I ascended via Hartsop Dodd, and took drawing 29 and this one of the Mark Atkinson memorial. I recorded in my diary that “the mountain views were as good as I’ve ever seen”; and there was “a marvellous descent down the ridge to Brothers Water, with the fells magical in the failing light”.
I took this picture on digital on 4th July 2018 (image 2), a glorious summer’s day in a long period of glorious weather. The cairn is now so large that it unbalances the picture, but I remind myself that this project is to show changes from what Wainwright saw, not to produce a set of perfectly composed images! However, I can’t resist extending the picture (on the right hand side) from the image shown in the sketch.
This cairn is not on the summit of Caudale Moor (which is also known as Stony Cove Pike), but on the west summit, referred to by the Ordnance Survey as “John Bell’s Banner”. This name probably derives from the Rev. John Bell (1553 – 1620), curate and schoolmaster of Ambleside; “banner” being an old word for boundary.