Drawing 53: A Grasmere Farm

Direction of view: SW

Notes: This sketch is very easy to locate, just up the old Wishing Gate road from Dove Cottage.  It is named How Top Farm, and is believed to date back to the 17th century.

A photo will be best taken early in the morning.  A young tree is now growing from the rock outcrop on the right, so the picture will be better when there are no leaves on it.  10am in April would be optimum.

This sketch also appears on page 109 of Westmorland Heritage; as usual, it is a copy of the same sketch.

Comments: I took image 1 on slide film on 5th April 1986, a day when I had intended to tackle the snow-clad Coniston fells, but accidentally left my boots at my then home in Darlington!  So I did a walk from White Moss to Grasmere, up and down Stone Arthur, and after enjoying a break in a Grasmere tea shop, walked round Grasmere and Rydal Water back to the car.  The only other sketch for this day was 219, Nab Cottage.  The slide has discoloured, and even Photoshop couldn’t fully rescue it.

Image 2 was taken for my digital project on 23rd May 2012 as part of a walk to Heron Pike (see Drawing 47).

The farm is Grade II listed, and was completely renovated in 2015, with the render and whitewash stripped off to reveal the stone walls.  So my “contemporary” photograph is already out of date!