Drawing 326: Levers Water

Direction of view: NW

Notes: I have not been able to locate the foreground in this sketch for certain, despite its’ apparent prominence.  This was the case in the late 1970s, as a picture by Peter Messenger (not shown here) attests.  It is possible that the level of Levers Water may have been raised since Wainwright’s time. Indeed, when I passed by Levers Water on 20th April 2019, at a time when the lake level was very low, I was able to walk up to a rock looking suspiciously like that in this sketch.  In the Archives at Kendal there is a photo by AW (reference WDAW/4/1/1/2/32)of a man sitting on some rocks by a tarn, smoking a pipe.  The rocks are identical to those in the foreground of this sketch.

The only other place in Wainwright’s published works where this view can be found is sketch 16 in A Second Furness Sketchbook.  That has the same foreground rocks, though one of them has mysteriously moved much closer to the camera / sketchbook!

Comments: I visited Levers Water to get this sketch on 25th July 2015, during a walk around eight sketch locations in the Coniston fells.  Descending from Levers Hause, and from memories of previous visits, it was easy to imagine that the foreground would be provided by one of the large boulders on the eastern shore.  However in practice, none of them match what AW drew.  Image 1 is the best approximation I could come up with.  With better lighting it could at least be made into a more dramatic picture.

I felt I ought to improve upon my pictures of sketches 49 and 88, so I planned a day in the Coniston fells.  Monday 28th January 2019 was a glorious day, but I failed to appreciate this in time to get over to Coniston.  On 29th January, it snowed heavily.  The forecast for Wednesday 30th was reasonable, so I headed off, and set out from Coniston at 10.30, but the hills were thickly shrouded in mist, and I achieved nothing.  Descending from Levers Hause, the bowl of Levers Water was so thick in mist that I was only 10 paces from the lake shore before I could see it.  Then, abruptly, the mist vanished.  I hurried to the location of this sketch and took a photo.  Seconds later, the mist returned, and although I hung around a bit, it wouldn’t shift again.  Image 2 is the one photo I did get.

Wainwright comments that Levers Water provided a water supply for the old copper mines, the massive dam still being serviceable, and the outflow passing under it along a tunnel.