Drawing 223: The head of Derwentwater

Direction of view: N

Notes: The best viewpoint is Lodore jetty.  Wainwright’s sketch shows the lake frozen over, and he comments that “the occasion was the great freeze of the winter of 1963-4, when the lake was under ice from end to end”.

This scene also appears on page 72 of Ex-Fellwanderer, page 94 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, and page 154 of Wainwright in Lakeland.  All of these are prints from the same original sketch. 

It’s clear from AW’s own photograph of this scene (which is in the County Archives at Kendal, reference WDAW/4/1/1/2/27) that the hole in the ice was not actually there!  A great example of entirely valid artistic licence – turning an otherwise empty foreground into something interesting.  I imagine Wainwright had a quiet smile to himself over this, even including birds’ footprints leading away from the hole.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film in late August / early September 1978, though I have no note of the precise date or circumstances.

I took the picture for the digital project on 25th March 2017 –  see drawing 101 for an account of the day.  I was on a walk with Anne Setright, and it was she who came up with the idea of going to the end of the jetty, so as not to include any foreground other than the lake.  Reeds, jetties and moored boats all get into the picture, as seen from the shore.