Drawing 363: Low Dam, Finsthwaite
Direction of view: W
Notes: This picture is taken just a couple of steps right of the path from the LDNPA car park at Finsthwaite to High Dam; just as the path reaches Low Dam. Most of the trees in AW’s sketch have gone, though the stump of the one on the highest point of the rocks remains.
Comments: I took this picture on slide film on 29th November 1980 – see image 1 and 358 above.
I took image 2 for the digital project on 23rd December 2012 on a walk with Sheelagh Hughes Hallett. At this time of year the sun is too low for ideal lighting, though the picture will be best taken when there are no leaves on the trees. See 358 for further details of this day.
Wainwright comments that both Low Dam and High Dam are still functional as reservoirs, but no longer used as such, following the closure of works in the valley.
This sketch is reproduced on page 153 of Wainwright in Lakeland. A very similar portrayal of the scene is seen as sketch 32 in A Second Furness Sketchbook, where Wainwright adds that Low Dam and High Dam served as reservoirs for bobbin works. This scene also appears on page 77 of The Outlying Fells.
It seems that it was in 1835 that an existing tarn here was dammed to provide a water supply to power a 32 feet waterwheel at Stott Park bobbin mill. Low Dam is a small catchment pond on the outflow from High Dam, the latter still restrained by a dam wall.