Drawing 144: Sadgill, Long Sleddale

Direction of view: NW

Notes: Best when there are no leaves on the trees.

This view appears on page 36 of Fellwanderer, page 118 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, page 235 of Westmorland Heritage, page 53 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 4 of Fellwalking with a Camera, and it is drawing 21 in Three Westmorland Rivers.  The similarity between the sketch and the photograph is remarkable, although the fellside in the background is sprinkled with snow in the photograph.

Diana Whaley, in A Dictionary of Lake District Place Names, suggests that Sadgill means “the stream or ravine by the shieling”. She adds that Sadgill was still used as a shieling for the collection of hay in 1246, and it is believed to have become a permanent settlement in the 14th century. [The word shieling means a grazing place for cattle, or a roughly constructed hut for shepherds].

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 8th May 1982, on a day out with Peter Messenger.  We took the photo of Longsleddale (383) before parking at Sadgill for this sketch and following the river up to sketch 194.  Our walk continued steeply up to Kentmere Pike, then on to Harter Fell and Branstree as the day turned cloudy after a warm, sunny start.

I took the photo on digital on 24th February 2013 and was just in time before a beautiful clear sunny spell clouded over.  I was in Longsleddale to meet Peter and Ruth Messenger.  We left a car at Sadgill, and drove round to Kentmere, walking back via Nan Bield Pass, Harter Fell and Gatesgarth Pass.  This completed our last section of the “Westmorland Heritage Walk”, after many years of walking bits of it.  Sadgill was a delightful scene, though the paraphernalia of modern farming in terms of plastic-wrapped straw bales etc is always in evidence – Wainwright presents a very tidy scene!