Drawing 218: Scale Force

Direction of view: S

Notes: The viewpoint is below the lower fall, just a few yards upstream from the footbridge.  The ladder shown in the sketch is long gone, of course, but the rocks give an easy scramble for a closer look at the most impressive upper fall.

This view also appears on page 161 of Wainwright in Lakeland, as Lakeland Mountain Drawing 484, and on page Red Pike (B) 8 in The Western Fells.  The mountain drawing omits the ladder, and also the seated figure in the foreground of the sketch.

Comments: Peter Messenger’s photo from the late 1970s shows the scene then.  I visited Scale Force to take this picture on 10th October 2016 – 21 years to the day since the death of my mother, so I remembered her.  There had been a spell of dry weather, so the water level in the stream was quite low.

Coleridge passed this way on a walking tour in August 1802.  He described Scale Force as “the white downfall which glimmered through the trees that hang before it like bushy hair over a Madman’s eyes”.