Drawing 20: Border End, Hard Knott

Direction of view: ENE

Notes: The building in the foreground is the remains of the bath house, which is between the Roman fort and the modern road.  Lighting is best in the early afternoon. This picture does not appear in any other of Wainwright’s published works.

Comments:  On 2nd May 1992, Andrew Amos, Peter Messenger and I started a weekend break in Eskdale Green, and after checking into our B&B, we set off for Coniston, photographing a few sketches en route, including Eskdale Church (379), and both of those at Hardknott Fort, where we stopped for lunch.  The day’s walk was Coniston to Boot, part of Paul Hannon’s “Furness Way”.

Twenty one years later, Anne Setright and I were staying for a week at Lane End Cottage in Boot, and on 18th June 2013 we had a planned day off from fellwalking.  The weather was glorious, so we drove up to Hard Knott fort to get this picture, together with 106.  Both were in excellent condition.  We each posed for the other’s photo, as there is a (female) figure in AW’s sketch.  It is tempting to speculate who this might be.  Betty Wainwright, of course, is a possibility.  But so is Mary Burkett, as AW certainly visited the fort with her.

The fort was built in 79AD by the troops of Julius Agricola, but seems to have been abandoned early in the second century.  It was built from stone on hand locally, and red sandstone brought from lower Eskdale.  It would have been on the route between the port at Ravenglass and Galava at Ambleside.