Drawing 57: Grange in Borrowdale

Direction of view: W

Notes: This is from the road, not the riverside path.  It has to be taken when there are no leaves on the trees; even so, the village is now almost obscured by tree growth.  This project is intended to explore how scenes have changed since AW sketched them; this one makes the point.

A photograph of this scene appears on page 182 of Fellwalking with a Camera.  It is interesting to note that the patterns of snow on the ground are almost identical between the photograph and the sketch, even though the photograph is quite hazy.

Comments: I first took this picture on 13th January 1991, on slide film.  Peter Messenger and I were bound for a walk up Scafell Pike in full winter conditions (see Drawing 22), and stopped for this photo as we passed by. Definitely not the right conditions for comparison with AW’s drawing (image 1).

In the Spring of 2015, I conceived the idea of a couple of days walking in Borrowdale, staying overnight rather than doing day trips there and back.  The weather at Easter was dank and misty at home in Sandside, but I heard that it was good in Lakeland, so on Easter Tuesday 7th April I set off, having booked a B&B at Seatoller Farm.  The objectives were ascents of Eagle, Sergeant’s and Castle Crags, and no less than 16 sketches.  The low cloud persisted as far as Grasmere; over Dunmail Raise was lovely Spring sunshine, and all of the fells and 14 of the sketch viewpoints were visited.  I reached Grange on the afternoon of a walk around Borrowdale on 8th April, by which time the sun was hazy (image 2).

I visited Grange again on 4th November 2018, for a walk from there back to Keswick, with Peter and Ruth Messenger.  The tree growth problem is getting worse all the time!  I took a photo from the river bank, for comparison; clearly it is not Wainwright’s exact viewpoint, but it was the best option for seeing anything at all of Grange from the east side of the Derwent (image 3).

It is rather ironic that the view of the double arched bridge should now be concealed by tree growth, as it has been a feature of the Grange landscape for many years, as this view (image 4) published in 1815 by Joseph Farington shows.