Drawing 207: Force Falls, Rusland

Direction of view: NW      

Notes: From the bridge at Force Mills, follow the road uphill and turn sharp left towards Satterthwaite (parking for one car just by the junction).  An old kissing gate, rusted half open, gives access to the river bank, and the viewpoint is down by the water.  Best chance of sunlight will be late morning. This view of the falls also appears as sketch 26 in A Furness Sketchbook (a different drawing, but an identical view of the falls), and on page 164 of Wainwright in Lakeland.

Comments: I took this sketch originally on slide film in 1979, almost certainly on a day with Peter Messenger, getting a number of sketches from the Lakeland and Furness sketchbooks.   Other Lakeland sketches taken on the same day were Skelwith Force (303), and Newby Bridge (4).  This 1979 photograph must have followed a dry period, as it contrasts markedly with my photo for the digital project, which was taken on 29th October 2015.  After a very wet morning, the afternoon brightened up, and Sheelagh Hughes Hallett and I set off for the Rusland Valley, to see the magnificent autumn colours.  The sun was shining, but the waterfall was shaded at this time of day (about 2pm).  Nevertheless, it was an impressive spectacle.

Wainwright comments that just below the falls there is the site of a former bobbin mill; and there is a predominance of birch amongst the local woodland to this day.  The falls are on Force Beck, which lower down becomes the unusually-named Rusland Pool, flowing (slowly) into the Leven Estuary.