Drawing 275: Base Brown
Direction of view: SW
Notes: Needs to be taken in the morning. Where the road to Seathwaite crosses the river, take the footpath on the right to access the river bank. The viewpoint is adjacent to the bridge. The branch was still recognisable in 2015.
This drawing does not appear elsewhere in Wainwright’s published works.
Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 2nd July 1977, after a walk over Fleetwith Pike, Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Base Brown, at the end of a week’s walking holiday in Lakeland. The weather improved as the day went on, and I also got sketches 173 (Seathwaite) and 279 (Keswick Moot Hall).
I took the picture again on slide film in late August / early September 1978, though I have no note of the precise date or circumstances. It seems that lots of other sketches around Borrowdale were taken on the same day.
Taken for the digital project on 8th April 2015: see 228 for an account. Having left Seatoller Farm B&B at 9.45, I took sketches 228 and 387 before this one, then headed back to the main part of Borrowdale for 7 more sketches.
The name of the fell is interesting. According to Robert Gambles (in “Lake District Place Names”) it is an “inversion compound”, characteristic of Norse settlers who came from Ireland, and involves inverting the usual order of words: bass meaning cowshed, and Brown deriving from the personal name Bruni. So: Bruni’s cowshed. Not very romantic, and not something to go home boasting that you have climbed!