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miles in length and one in breadth ; and abounds with trout, eels, and a fish called skelly or gwiniads, with a few char, but of an inferior quality. The depth of the lake is very considerable, especially in the vicinity of Patterdale, where it is thirty-five fathoms.
This beautiful expanse of water is surrounded on every side, except on the east, by mountain ranges, some of which ascend to a great altitude. Towards Pooley Bridge, however, lying at the foot of the lake and at its northern extremity, they reach but a slight elevation, and are appropriated to the purposes of the farmer, in growing corn and depasturing cattle. But as the traveller approaches the head of the lake, they assume forms of most romantic character and grandeur, both in size and loftiness, while their towering summits penetrate the clouds. The lake lies embosomed within the two counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland; the waters of its eastern and southern shores, and a small part of its northern, washing the latter, and those of the western, the former.
The day appointed for the excursion dawned brightly and propitiously. It had been arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Sandford, in order to diversify as much as possible the scenery, and the pleasures of the day, for the gratification of their friend, to proceed in a carriage to the foot of the lake at Pooley Bridge, along the north-western shore, and return by water to Patterdale, lying at the head of it. The advantage of this arrangement is, that the perspective of the latter, as well as the long approach to it, unites, beyond comparison, the most splendid scenery on the lake; and well merits that the face, rather than the back, should be turned towards it, when sailing on this noble sheet of water.
After partaking of an abundant breakfast, a commodious open carriage drew up to the door, when Mrs. Gracelove, Mr. and Mrs. Sandford, and their daughter Clara, the subject of the grave discussion now in agitation, took their places, and were immediately en route to the foot of Ullswater.
After passing Glenrıdding, and the picturesque cottage of the Rev. H. Askew; Stybarrow Crag with its rugged and lofty hill ornamented with oaks; and Glencoyne, the property of the Duke of Norfolk, situated in a lovely valley through which meanders a streamlet dividing the two counties; they arrived at the beautiful domain of Gowbarrow Park. Through this fine property the road passes to the extent of three miles, and which formerly belonged also to his Grace of Norfolk. Lyulph’s Tower, situated within its precincts, was erected by his Grace as a hunting-box, and from the summit of which a most interesting view is obtained of the lake, and its bordering mountains.
The party here descended from their carriage to visit the romantic cascade of Airey Force. It is situated at a short distance from the tower, secluded amid enormous rocks and groves of trees; and falls down a tremendous chasm to the depth of eighty feet.
Returning to their vehicle, they passed, on the right of the road, the fine rocky prominence of Yew Crag; and beyond this, the delightful residence of the late John Marshall, Esq., called Hallsteads, gracefully embowered in woods, and resting on a gentle eminence that stretches into the lake, and commanding a noble prospect. Further onward, they passed, in succession, a number of gentlemen's seats that adorn the banks of the bright waters they were skirting. Among the most conspicuous of these are, Lemon House, belonging to John Raw, Esq.; Beauthorn Cottage, and the beautiful mansion of Watermillock, the property of Jonathan Scott, Esq.; and Rampsbeck Lodge, the picturesque villa of B. E. Stag, Esq.; at which latter is a fourteen-gun battery, adding a novel interest to the rural scene.
The whole of these elegant
villas command, in diversity of view, all that is superb and captivating in lake scenery; while, as objects of landscape themselves, they serve to complete the picture with the charm of animated life.
In the neighbourhood of Pooley Bridge the party ascended the Hill of Dunmallet, on the summit of which are the remains of a Roman fort, surrounded by a fosse, which served, in days of yore, to guard the lake, and maintain the communication between Ambleside and Brougham.
From hence they crossed the bridge thrown over the river Eamont, which forms a channel for the superfluous waters of the lake, and marks the line of demarcation between the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland. The bridge lies in the immediate vicinity of King Arthur’s Round Table, once the resort of knights of the tournament in the olden times of chivalry. Here terminated the carriage part of the excursion by their arriving at Pooley Bridge.
A boat was now speedily engaged for the purpose of convey. ing them along the entire length of these transparent waters. The form of the lake has been, not unaptly, likened to the letter Z, though much less acute in its angles. It is divided into three reaches, each surpassing in romantic beauty the one left behind, as the tourist sails along towards its head; till the unrivalled magnificence of the finished picture at length beams forth, in all its lustre, at its southern extremity.
As the boat steered her mid-way course along the first reach, -a fine sheet of water three miles in length, bordered by gently sloping hills on each shore,—the giant Swarth Fell, barren and almost perpendicular in its descent, was seen on the left-hand; and, in front, Hallen Fell, with their huge rocks and shaggy crests. On the right was presented to the eye the undulating shore, with its beautiful villas, past which the gratified party had so recently driven.
“A most perilous circumstance," observed Mr. Sandford, addressing his guest, as he pointed to Swarth Fell,“ occurred on that mountain to the late Mr. Hasell, the owner of Dalemain. Being out hunting one morning, he plunged with his horse, in the excitement of the chase, into a position from which there was no retreat, either backwards or forwards; except, as regards the latter, at the imminent risk of his life. It was a forlorn hope, and accordingly to be faced with a desperate boldness. He therefore dismounted, and leaning against the side of his horse, each, as it were, supporting the other, they slid down the precipitous side of the mountain ; and, wonderful to say, arrived at the bottom in safety. Neither before nor since that time has any person been known to have descended the mountain, either with his horse or without it, whether sliding, or walking, or by any other process whatever.”
The second, or middle reach, which extends about four miles, is entered at the point where the boat rounds the promontory formed by Hallen Fell, on the left hand. Here are seen the mountain ranges of Birk Fell and Place Fell; and in front the mighty form of Helvellyn losing his summit in the clouds. The right hand discloses to greater advantage, and to a front view, the fine residence of Hallsteads, with its sloping lawn ; as, also, Gowbarrow Park and Lyulph's Tower.
The third, or. upper reach, is two miles long; and offers to the lover of nature the choicest combination of all the objects of a perfect landscape, and greatly transcends, in majesty and beauty, every other part of Ullswater. An assemblage of lofty mountains of varied outlines, and marked by deep and rugged precipices, now occupies the field of vision. Their sides are covered with purple heath, displaying a rich contrast to the green and yellow tints exhibited around them; while a mighty group of ridges, peaks, and pinnacles, here unite into one splendid ensemble, to captivate the eye and the heart, and to raise devout aspirations to the great and beneficent Being who made them all.
On the left, in ascending this reach, the view ranges over the towering mountain called Place Fell; and on the right, Stybarrow Crag, crowned with picturesque oaks shooting up from its crevices, and the lofty ridges of Helvellyn and Fairfield. Conspicuous among these rises, in bold relief, a remarkable hill, called St. Sunday Crag. Immediately in front, and at the head of this noble expanse, lies the valley of Patterdale, with its romantically-situated town. The surface of the lake is here diversified by four islands, of small dimensions but of interesting appearance, called House Holme, Ling Holme, Wall Holme, and Cherry Holme; the former of which affords an advantageous position for surveying the superb panorama of the scenic glories of Ullswater.
After being occupied two hours in rowing from the foot to the head of the lake, through a distance of nine miles, the party now left the boat, and stepped once more into the carriage, which had been ordered to meet them at Patterdale, for the purpose of conveying them home. On their return, Mr. Sandford pointed out to Mrs. Gracelove, Patterdale Hall, the beautiful residence of William Marshall, Esq., the Member of Parliament for Carlisle. It was once the seat of a family named Mounsey, who obtained the appellation of “ kings of Patterdale,” in consequence of a gallant action fought by a valiant member of it with a band of Scotch marauders, at the pass of Stybarrow Crag ; whom, with the aid of a few shepherds, he defeated and drove back.
“ And now," said Mr. Sandford, as he handed the ladies from the carriage at the door of his mansion, “ I think we have well earned the good services of the cook; and, as I heard you say, my dear Mrs. Gracelove, that you were very partial to trout, I have ordered the best specimen which our lake affords