Drawing 19: The old parish church of Bassenthwaite
Direction of view: WSW
Notes: The church is accessed by a track off the minor road to Scarness. The track can be driven, but walking is preferable. Lighting is best in the morning.
This picture also appears on page 181 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer. It is the same drawing as the sketch, but reduced in size.
Comments: I first took this picture on slide film in January 1978, probably 4th January, on a day out with Peter Messenger and Andrew Amos.
I first visited this scene with my digital camera on 18th July 2013, which was a day off work taken to commemorate my father, Thomas Daly, whose 100th birthday it was that day. He died in 2002 aged 89. I remember climbing Longlands Fell with him, so I went up there again today. It was a hot, sunny, clear day.
The tree branches in the foreground of the sketch are no longer there, but the tree to the right of the church is still recognisable.
Wainwright commented that services were held here at St. Bega’s church, and they still are, at least twice a month, with a large number of weddings and baptisms also. It forms part of the “Binsey Mission Community” and it is the end point of a long distance walk named “St Bega’s Way”. One feels that AW would have approved of these developments.
It was at the water’s edge near this church that Tennyson composed the lines in Morte d’Arthur that tell of the sword Excalibur being thrown into the lake.