Drawing 204: The Old Gatehouse, Cartmel.

Direction of view: SSW

Notes: Looking SSW down the narrow street (Cavendish Street), this will be a very difficult sketch to get in sunlight.  The perspective on the sketch is slightly odd, as the building on the left appears more dominant in reality than in the drawing.  Wainwright may have taken the picture from further back with a telephoto lens, but parked cars etc will make this problematic too. The only other appearance of this view in Wainwright’s works is on page 180 of Wainwright in Lakeland: once again, a reprint of the same sketch.

The photograph from which this sketch was drawn is in the County Archives at Kendal, reference WDAW/4/1/1/2/24.  The sketch corresponds closely to that photograph.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 2nd June 1990, prior to a walk along the Furness Way from Cartmel to Lowick Green with Peter Messenger.  We had lunch waiting for sunny conditions at the sketch of the Priory (151), then moved on to this sketch.

I visited the sketch location for the digital project late in the afternoon of Sunday 26th August 2012, on my way back from a walk on Humphrey Head.  Cartmel was buzzing with people, as it was the bank holiday weekend, and the races were taking place next day.  As I walked down the road after taking the picture, Simon Rogan was spotted outside his restaurant, L’Enclume.

This Augustinian Priory Gatehouse was built around 1330.  It is owned by the National Trust, and is a Grade II* listed building.  English Heritage says that, despite alteration and adaptation for a variety of uses over a period of almost 800 years, it survives well and remains an excellent example of a mediaeval monastic gatehouse.

Through the archway can be seen the market cross obelisk.  In 2021 the Parish Council applied for planning permission to replace it, as it had deteriorated over time; the old obelisk is to be relocated indoors.  The work is likely to be carried out in 2022.