Drawing 232: Mickleden

Direction of view: ESE

Notes: This picture is not from the familiar (cairned) viewpoint on Rossett Pike, but a little further north.  I have not found the rocks shown in the foreground.

This view appears on page 203 of Westmorland Heritage, page Rossett Pike 7 in The Southern Fells; and it is Lakeland Mountain Drawing 131, the fifteenth photo in Ex-Fellwanderer, and on page 97 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, where the photo appears together with the sketch.  It is interesting to see how Wainwright has reproduced in the sketch the cloud shadows seen in the photograph.  In the mountain drawing the cloud shadows are similar; there is also a different foreground of rocks.

Comments: I took this shot on slide film on 1st August 1981, when Peter Messenger and I were doing the Great Langdale horseshoe walk.  On a muggy morning, we climbed Lingmoor Fell first, and it was only much later, as we sat on Rossett Pike, that the sun emerged and we secured a photo of this drawing.  We continued to Pike o’ Stickle for Drawing 132.  Then it was on over Loft Crag for 267 and Harrison Stickle, and the Blea Rigg ridge, finishing back at Elterwater at 10.35pm.

I took the photo for the digital project on 5th May 2012 on a round of the Langdale peaks with Peter Messenger (see Drawing 245).  There was good patchy sunlight, as in AW’s sketch.

Diana Whaley’s excellent Dictionary of Lake District Place Names explains that “Mickleden” is Old English for “the great valley”.  “Rossett”, on the other hand, may derive from Old Norse, with the meaning “the high pastures where horses are kept”.  The hinterland of Rossett Pike would certainly be a good place for keeping horses out of sight if raiders were expected!