Drawing 3: Thirlmere

Direction of view: SSE

Notes: The best lighting is likely to be on a summer afternoon.  Park just north of the road junction below Raven Crag, and take the steep path signposted to Castle Crag.  Go straight across the first forest road.  On reaching the second, follow it right; it climbs steeply.  Then scramble across the hillside to the viewpoint. This scene also appears on page 17 of Wainwright in Lakeland.  As usual with Wainwright in Lakeland, it is the same drawing that has been used.

Comments: See sketches 30 and 54 for an account of what preceded my first attempt at this sketch on 14th January 2012.

The Naddle valley is “caravan infested” according to AW, and indeed the path leads through a field of these beached green monsters.  I joined the path up Shoulthwaite Gill (not been there for years), and a final acrobatic struggle over a mass of windblown pines to reach the summit of Raven Crag.  Great view of Thirlmere, but clearly not the location of drawing 3 – far too high.  A rather unorthodox descent also failed to find the location of this drawing – but glancing up, I did see a steep bare slope just above the trees, which might work…  Ah well, that’s for another day.  For today, I’ve had a great day out, not got any sketch-pictures in perfect condition, but visited some new places.  Saw very few people.  Loved it.

On 19th August 2015 I resolved to tackle some problem sketches, and visited 75, 302 and 222 before heading for the Thirlmere dam to put the above to the test.  And hey presto – it worked!  Unfortunately it was dull with some rain by the time I reached the best viewpoint, a lovely belvedere with a magnificent view of the lake.  This may be a bit too high for Wainwright’s actual location, but it’s pretty damn good, and I was delighted.

Thirlmere was originally called Leathes Water, after the Leathes family, who owned and farmed at Dalehead on the eastern side of the lake, and it was much smaller, and so narrow in the middle that there was a bridge over it. Across the valley from Dalehead was Armboth Hall, home of the Jackson family; both sank beneath the rising waters of the lake, after it had been acquired by Manchester.