Drawing 225: Martindale Church

Direction of view: NE

Notes: Taken from just outside the churchyard.  Daffodils bloom there in early April.  Apart from some tree growth on the right, nothing has changed. Wainwright comments that this church “so suits its surroundings that it seems to have grown out of the ground”.

The only other appearance of this view in Wainwright’s published works is on page 256 of Westmorland Heritage: the same drawing, though edited to exclude the church gate and all but the very top of the foreground wall.  An enclosure on the fellside in the background of the sketch has been replaced by a text box giving information about the building:  Wainwright notes that “it has recently been restored, and a few summer services are held”.

Comments: The present church dates from the end of the 16th century, and is dedicated to St Martin of Tours. It closed in 1881, and was replaced as the local church for the area by St Peter’s on The Hause, but has been kept in good repair.

I took this picture on slide film on 12th July 1979, a sunny but hazy day, when Peter Messenger and I were heading for a walk to Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill and Bonscale Pike.  The latter was my 200th Lakeland fell, and five weeks later I had completed the 214.

I took my picture for the digital project on 13th May 2014.  I had just done my Wainwright Society Challenge walk – the ridge from Steel Knotts to Wether Hill – and after visiting Loadpot Hill, I descended back to the Steel Knotts ridge, and from it down to this church.  It was sunny when I arrived there, and some people had just settled themselves on a seat, so that the head and shoulders of one of them would appear in the photo. I cheekily asked the lady concerned if she would mind moving for a moment, which she did, and I got a good photo. We then had a friendly chat, and I explained about the Sketchbook Project. I continued my walk down Martindale, to drawing 50 (wrongly described by AW as Boardale), and on to Sandwick, returning to the car in Howtown via the lakeside path around Hallin Fell.