Drawing 97: Yewdale, Coniston
Direction of view: NW
Notes: Remarkably little has changed in this picture – postcard Lakeland scene. Wainwright states that the valley was named after “an ancient and venerable yew” that succumbed to a violent storm in 1894.
The only other appearance of this view in Wainwright’s works is as drawing 17 in A Furness Sketchbook. As with all the Furness sketches, which are of the same scene as a Lakeland sketch, it is a different drawing.
Comments: I first took this picture on slide film in 1976 – precise date uncertain, but the conditions were dramatic.
I took the picture for the digital project on 27th September 2015. It was a glorious autumn day, and Sheelagh Hughes Hallett & I drove up to Coniston with our friend Bernadette Jones, who was staying with us for the weekend. We stopped at Yewdale whilst I got the picture, in perfect conditions. We then continued to Coniston and enjoyed a cruise on the lake on the National Trust’s “Gondola” boat – a beautiful trip.
Yew Tree Farm was owned by Beatrix Potter, who gifted it to the National Trust. It featured extensively on the BBC’s “Countryfile” programme on 15th August 2021, which included film of its belted Galloway cattle, and Herdwick sheep. The farm offers the “Herdwick Experience” – learning about the breed, and getting to cuddle a tame specimen.