Drawing 134: Wasdale Head Church
Direction of view: ESE
Notes: The tree in front of the church disappeared many years ago (though it is shown in an old photograph of the church which is on the wall of the bar in the Wasdale Head Inn). The best lighting is likely to be mid to late afternoon in summer. A very wide angle lens is needed; I did not have this in 1979, so it isn’t possible to see whether the path around the church was present then.
This drawing also appears on page 39 of Fellwanderer.
Comments: This picture was first taken during a solo youth hostelling trip around the western Lake District in 1979. Specifically, it was taken on a day walk from Wastwater youth hostel on 4th August 1979: see Drawing 82.
I took the picture for the digital project on 11th September 2015. Anne Setright and I were staying at Lane End Cottage in Boot, and drove to Wasdale Head on the Friday for the last day’s walk of an excellent holiday. We secured sketches 298, 285 and this one just a few minutes into our walk, which then took us up the valley route to Sty Head, to Sprinkling Tarn and then Seathwaite Fell, where we got drawing 391. Returning to Wasdale Head in mid-afternoon, we visited St Olaf’s again, and I got better pictures for this sketch and 285.
There are several climbers’ graves in the churchyard (see drawing 285); but in 1976 the Parochial Church Council decided that no further burials of non-parishioners would be allowed; however, “the cremated remains of people meeting accidental death in the parish will be accepted for burial in a special plot set aside for this purpose”. The memorial plaque originally on Great Gable summit has been relocated to the churchyard – see sketch 347.