Drawing 253: The Tottling Stone, Launchy Gill

Direction of view: NNW

Notes: The Tottling Stone is on the south side of Launchy Gill, quite prominent on a knoll high above the lake.  A stepped path leads up to it.  It is also accessible by ascending the north bank of the gill, then using a wooden walkway and footbridge.  The foreground trees have been felled, (contrast Peter Messenger’s shot from the late 1970s, the first tottle) and the general situation is more open than shown in the sketch; there is a good view of Thirlmere. “Tottle” is an Old English word signifying a look out. 

This image does not appear elsewhere in Wainwright’s published works.

Comments: 4th September 2014 was a hazy and mainly cloudy day in central Lakeland.  I did a walk up by Fisher Gill and over Watson’s and Stybarrow Dodds, getting back to the car with some time to spare; so I decided to seek out the Tottling Stone.  It was higher up the fellside than I expected, but quite prominent.  There was no-one else around, and it’s an interesting feature, not mentioned on the public information board by the road.  My 2014 photo forms the second tottle.