Drawing 168: Fell Foot, Little Langdale

Direction of view: NNW

Notes: The viewpoint is obvious, and the buildings unchanged (other than its paintwork) since Wainwright’s drawing.  However, the trees in the background of the sketch have gone (since 1977), and now there is an excellent view of the Langdale Pikes.  To get sun on the building, this shot needs to be taken before noon.  Wainwright states that Fell Foot was an inn in the days of the packhorse trade over Wrynose Pass.

The only other appearance of this view in Wainwright’s published works is on page 177 of Wainwright in Lakeland.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 29th June 1977. Peter Messenger and I had spent the night in a tent on the summit of Helm Crag, and were up very early.   Mist lay in the valleys below, but soon cleared with the sunshine.  We then had one of our greatest bonanzas of drawings snapped – 14 in the day in Ambleside and Great and Little Langdale, then over the passes to Eskdale and a walk up Slight Side.

I first took this shot for this digital project on 4th August 2014, on a walk with Anne Setright (see drawing 77).  The sun wasn’t shining, so I didn’t take maximum care, and the result was slightly inaccurate.  Anne did better.  A much better result was obtained on 5th June 2016 – see drawing 27 for an account of that day – when with excellent lighting and use of my tripod, I secured a much better result.

Fell Foot is a Grade II listed building; the listing dating from January 1967, not long before AW’s sketch.  Its north wing is 16th century, the rest of the building 17th century.  Wainwright points out that it was an inn in the days of the packhorse trade over Wrynose Pass; and there must have been nights when it was a most welcome sight!  It is owned by the National Trust.