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A distant view of Bowness and part of Windermere Lake

A distant view of Bowness and part of Windermere Lake

Engraver: Jukes, Francis

Medium: Aquatint, coloured

Date: 1801

Shelfmark: Ktop XLIII

Item number: 16 L

Genre: Topographical Print

Bowness on Windermere is the port serving Windermere Lake. This picture shows the 14th century church of St Martin in the right foreground. Towards the background, near the middle of the picture, is Belle Isle (also known as Long Holme), on which can be seen the Round House built by Thomas English in 1774. This elaborate Italianate building was the cause of much unkind comment in the Lake District at the time. English's neighbour Wordsworth said it resembled a canister in a teashop window and needed only a label saying 'Souchong' to complete the likeness. English was sadly susceptible to such comments and sold the house, which had cost £6,000 to build, for a mere £1,700 a few years later.

Lake Windermere is 10 miles long and up to one mile wide, making it the largest lake in Cumbria. The best views of the lake can be had between Bowness and Ambleside. Wordsworth wrote in 1810: "None of the other Lakes unfold so many fresh beauties to him who sails upon them. This is owing to its greater size, to the islands, and to its having two vales at the head, with their accompanying mountains of nearly equal dignity." Besides being an attraction for visitors, the lake was a source of food and transport for the communities who lived around it.

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