Drawing 74: Matterdale Church

Direction of view: NNE     

Notes: The church sits beside the A5091 between Dockray and Matterdale End.  The tree at centre right in the sketch, still there in 1977, has now disappeared.  A laurel bush is beginning to encroach on the viewpoint.  This sketch does not appear in any other of Wainwright’s published works.

Comments: I first took this picture (image 1) on slide film on 4th April 1977: see Drawing 62.

I took this photo with my digital camera on 9th January 2014, the last of 5 sketches bagged on my way to do a walk over Great and Little Mell Fells.  When I arrived there was no sun, so I found the precise location for the image, and then settled down in the car and had my lunch.  Breaks in the cloud provided brief sunny spells, but also deep shadows (image 2).

The church is open, and worth a look inside; very simple and rather rudely built, but with a dignity befitting its 16th century origins.  In 1566 Bishop Best granted permission for the inhabitants to build themselves a church, and its completion date was probably 1573.  It has no formal dedication, as was common in old chapelries.