Week In Focus #34

This is picture #34 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.

  • This week I’ve been wrapped up with various bits and pieces, so have decided to share an oldie with you from 1985. This photo is of a farm house and old packhorse bridge at Watendlath.

Watendlath is a hamlet and tarn (a small lake) in Cumbria. Watendlath is owned by the National Trust and sits high between the Borrowdale and Thirlmere valleys at 863 feet (263 m) above sea level. The name came from Old Norse vatn-endi-hlaða = “water-end-barn”.

  • Pronounced with the emphasis on end – WatENDlath.

Blea Tarn Gill, 700 feet (210 m) above Watendlath Tarn, provides the tarn with its water. Water from Watendlath Tarn flows into the beck of the same name and eventually feeds Lodore Falls, and ends up in Derwent Water.

The tarn is 7 acres (28,000 m2) in size, with a maximum depth of 56 feet (17 m). It was given to the National Trust by Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise, in memory of her brother, King Edward VII.

The traditional Lakeland farm in Watendlath is rented out by the National Trust and, as is the case with Lakeland farms owned by the Trust, the herd of Herdwick sheep are owned by the Trust and not the farmer, changing hands with each tenant. This is part of the National Trust’s policy aimed at ensuring this rare breed’s survival.

The Wise Kings of Borrowdale:

Watendlath’s quiet nook.
A farm is there, and a slated barn,
And a waterfall, and a pebbly tarn;
And all the way to High Lodore
The banks of the beck are painted o’er
With red herb-willow and red loose-strife.

Edmund Casson

Fold Head Farm house was used by Sir Hugh Walpole as the fictional home of Judith Paris in his Herries Saga of four novels published in the early 1930s.

Watendlath Farm & Packhorse Bridge