Drawing 387: The road to Seathwaite

Direction of view: SSW

Notes: Needs to be taken in the morning.  The viewpoint is approximately 650 yards down the road to Seathwaite.  This scene does not appear elsewhere in Wainwright’s published works, but the photograph from which this sketch was drawn is in the County Archives at Kendal, reference WDAW/4/1/1/2/36.  There are no walkers in the photo, and a tree on the left in the photograph has been moved right to be in the sketch. A new tree has grown up by the foreground wall, obscuring the view from where AW stood; you need to go a few yards further on, though the tree on the left then disappears from the scene.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film in late August / early September 1978, though I have no note of the precise date or circumstances.

First taken on digital on 8th April 2015. The two photos taken then illustrate the “new tree” issue.

This is a busy road, morning and evening, as fellwalkers’ cars come and go.  In the 18th century it carried traffic to and from the graphite mines, and also tourists.  An account written in 1751 states: “We now entered another narrow valley which winded through mountains which were totally barren and, in about an hour, we arrived at Seathwaite…. The scene that now presented itself was the most frightful that could be conceived”.