Drawing 323: Esthwaite Water
Direction of view: NE
Notes: It is hard to be sure of the right foreground for this picture, and indeed the background is open to different interpretations too. However, I believe it is taken from the car park just north of the junction of two minor roads (AW gives his viewpoint indicator “V” sign just southeast of the junction). It will be best taken in summer, as when there are leaves on the trees, they will screen the houses which are visible in winter, but do not appear in the drawing (more’s the pity, in terms of certainty over the subject matter!).
Comments: I first visited this location on 14 April 2012 after a walk via Hawkshead, Latterbarrow and Near Sawrey. A nature trail was in course of construction from the bridge over the outflow from the lake (Ees Bridge), and this gives access to a number of possible foregrounds for the photo; however none seemed quite right in terms of the background, and I ended up taking the picture from the car park, watched by a pair of swans. Just a week later, it was announced that a pair of ospreys have started to nest near the lake.
This sketch also appears on page 138 of Wainwright in Lakeland, and another drawing of the same subject is sketch 12 in A Furness Sketchbook. It is very similar. The tree on the right of this sketch has moved to the left of the Furness sketch.
Ees Bridge is a curious name! It carries three engravings: its name, a boundary marker between Claife and Hawkshead, and a benchmark. The stream flowing under it is Cunsey Beck, which after a couple of miles flows out into Windermere.