Drawing 65: Sour Milk Gill, Easedale

Direction of view: WNW

Notes: This view is from the foot of the falls, reached by turning right off the Easedale Tarn path between two walls.  Several of the boulders shown in the sketch are still present and identifiable.

This scene also appears in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (430) and on page 115 of Westmorland Heritage, page 163 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 114 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, and page Tarn Crag 10 in The Central Fells.  The latter is a full page drawing, and almost as large as the version in the Sketchbook.

Comments: I first took this picture (image 1) on slide film on 6th April 1977, during the Easter holidays of my first year at University: see 7 above.

I first visited Sour Milk Gill with a digital camera on 27th January 2014 on a walk with Peter Watson.  There had been much rain, so the cascades were quite spectacular, but it was raining at the time, so not easy to get a good picture, or even spend much time investigating alternative positions from which to take the photo.  We went on to Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg and Silver How (see 366).

A much better result was obtained on 11th September 2018 (image 2).  It had rained heavily the day before, and overnight, but a sunny afternoon was forecast, so I made a dash up to Grasmere and photographed the falls in spate.  The main rocks shown in the sketch are identifiable, although one has water pouring over it!

As Wainwright notes, there are three Sour Milk Gills in Lakeland, all of them well known to walkers.  He characterises this as the least attractive of the three, yet it is the only one he chose to illustrate in the Sketchbooks!