Drawing 78: Ullswater from St. Sunday Crag

Direction of view: NNE

Notes: The foreground rocks are still in place, and quite identifiable.  Approaching from the summit of St. Sunday Crag, the view is taken from 2 paces beyond and one pace right from the prominent cairn marking the last viewpoint before the steeper descent from the summit: GR 373139.

This scene is extremely well represented in Wainwright’s works: it appears in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (18), Fellwanderer (page 52), Ex-Fellwanderer (page 54), Memoirs of a Fellwanderer (page 32), Westmorland Heritage (page 336), Wainwright in Lakeland (page 4), and in two guidebooks: The Eastern Fells (page St Sunday Crag 8) and A Coast to Coast Walk (page 42).  Those underlined are from different drawings to sketch 78; and different drawings contain 0, 1 or 2 people in the foreground.  The Westmorland Heritage image is printed very light.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 10th July 1982, on a walk with Peter Messenger: see Drawing 41.  As can be seen (image 1), it was a beautiful afternoon.

My first visit for the digital project was on 1st July 2015, on a day out with Peter Watson.  A hot summer’s day, which started clear and sunny but became increasingly hazy.  We ascended via Pinnacle Ridge, using a rope on the difficult section.  By the time we had climbed the ridge, visited the summit, and descended to this viewpoint, the day was well past its best and I missed out on getting a photo.

A much better opportunity presented itself on 11th July 2018, on a walk with Peter Messenger (see 396 for details).  There was a lot of cloud over the fells, but after a short wait a lucky sunny interval lit the foreground: image 2.

Finally, I found myself passing this viewpoint on 18th May 2019, whilst doing Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk with Anne Setright. I remembered that, early in his career as an artist, AW drew this view with a woman sitting on the rocks, looking out to Ullswater.  The lady in question is thought possibly to be Betty Ditchfield, one of Wainwright’s colleagues in the Treasurer’s Department at Blackburn Council. I thought it would be fun to recreate that picture, and Anne  kindly posed for it: image 3.