Grasmere (village)

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Grasmere
Grasmere 2, Cumbria - June 2009.jpg
Grasmere
Location map United Kingdom South Lakeland.svg
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Grasmere
Location in South Lakeland
Cumbria UK location map.svg
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Grasmere
Location within Cumbria
OS grid reference NY335074
Civil parish
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town AMBLESIDE
Postcode district LA22
Dialling code 015394
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Cumbria
54°27′29″N3°01′29″W / 54.45809°N 3.024588°W / 54.45809; -3.024588 Coordinates: 54°27′29″N3°01′29″W / 54.45809°N 3.024588°W / 54.45809; -3.024588
Grasmere village and lake as seen from the fell of Stone Arthur Grasmere from Stone Arthur.jpg
Grasmere village and lake as seen from the fell of Stone Arthur

Grasmere is a village and tourist destination in Cumbria, England, in the centre of the Lake District, named after its adjacent lake. It has links with the Lake Poets: William and Dorothy Wordsworth lived in Grasmere for 14 years and called it "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found." [2] Grasmere lies within the historic county of Westmorland. In 1961, the civil parish had a population of 1,029. [3] That of the Ambleside and Grasmere ward was 4,475 in the 2011 census and estimated at 4,592 in 2019. [4]

Contents

Etymology

One possibility is "the lake (mere) flanked by grass." Although early spellings with "Grys-" or "Gris(s)-" might suggest Old Norse "griss", meaning "young pig" as the first element, evidence points to the Old English/Old Norse "gres", meaning grass, with the modern form influenced by Standard English. The medial "-s(s)e-" may, as suggested by Ekwall, [5] point to the Old Norse "gres-saer" or "grass-lake" as the original name. [6] The element "mere" refers to a still extant word meaning "lake" or "pool". [7]

History

William and Dorothy Wordsworth lived in Grasmere for 14 years and called it "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found." [2]

Geography

The village is on the River Rothay, which flows into Grasmere lake about 0.5 km to the south. The village is overlooked from the north-west by the rocky hill of Helm Crag, popularly known as The Lion and the Lamb or the Old Lady at the organ. These names derive from the shape of rock formations on its summit, depending on the side from which it is viewed. [8]

The several walks that begin in the village include the ascent of Helm Crag, a longer route up to Fairfield, and a moderate 200-metre ascent to Easedale Tarn. The village is also on the route of Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk. [9]

Grasmere Village Grasmere 1, Cumbria - June 2009.jpg
Grasmere Village

The main A591 road connects Grasmere to the Vale of Keswick over Dunmail Raise to the north, and to Ambleside to the south. In other directions, Grasmere is surrounded by high ground. (At Christmas 2015, the A591 was washed away on the Keswick side of Dunmail Raise, causing traffic to make a long detour. It reopened in May 2016.) To the west, a long ridge comes down from High Raise and contains the lesser heights of Blea Rigg and Silver How. To the east, Grasmere is bordered by the western ridge of the Fairfield horseshoe.

Transport

Grasmere lies on the main A591 road between Keswick and Kendal.

It is served by the Stagecoach 555 bus service connecting towns such as Keswick and Lancaster. [10] In summer it is also served by a Stagecoach open-top double-decker 599 service, which runs between Grasmere and Bowness-on-Windermere.

The nearest railway station is at Windermere (9 miles), which has hourly local services.

Communal events

Rushbearing

Grasmere's famous Rushbearing Ceremony, centred on St Oswald's Church, has ancient origins. The present-day ceremony is an annual event which features a procession through the village with bearings made from rushes and flowers. In this procession there are also six Maids of Honour, a brass band, the church choir, and others carrying their own decorated rush-bearing.

St Oswald's Church, decorated for the Rushbearing Day St Oswald's Church, Grasmere.jpg
St Oswald's Church, decorated for the Rushbearing Day

Sports

The annual Grasmere Sports in August were first held in 1852. Participants compete in a variety of sports, including Cumberland wrestling, fell running and hound trails (similar to drag hunting). [11]

Dove Cottage Dove Cottage.jpg
Dove Cottage

Sweetmeats

Grasmere contains the winner of the "Get Started Award 2014" awarded by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs: the Handmade Chocolate Shop. [12] Grasmere Gingerbread is made to a "secret recipe" popularised by Sarah Nelson (1815–1904). [13] [14] By the early 19th century, Grasmere gingerbread was being sold as fairings and as a popular seller in its own right. [15] Poet Dorothy Wordsworth wrote in 1803 that she and her brother William craved the gingerbread. [15]

Religious

Until September 2013, Grasmere's three main church parishes (Catholic, Church of England and Methodist) gathered three times a year to celebrate mass in the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Wayside. Grasmere also has a Quaker guest house, Glenthorne, where Quaker meetings of worship are held.

Government

The Lakes were governed by an urban district council, before becoming part of the Lakes Urban District in 1934. [16] The parish was abolished on 1 April 1974 to form Lakes. [17] Grasmere is represented by Liberal Democrat politicians on the district and county councils, and at Westminster. [18] Grasmere has lost population since the 1960s. [19]

In Art and Literature

George Pickering painted many views around Grasmere, and an engraving of one of these, Grassmere Lake and Village, Westmorland, was published in Fisher's Drawing Room Sketch Book, 1834, accompanied by a humorous sketch by Letitia Elizabeth Landon about a lover of poetry who, given a legacy, buys a property here only to find extraordinary steps would be required to make life bearable. [20]

Notable persons

Grasmere seen from Heron Pike Grasmere from near Alcock Tarn.jpg
Grasmere seen from Heron Pike

In birth order:

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "Parish council - Lakes Parish Council". 13 October 2021.
  2. 1 2 A Farewell. Retrieved 2 December 2013
  3. "Population Statistics Grasmere AP/Ch/CP through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. City Population. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  5. Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. l, 546.
  6. Whaley, Diana (2006). A Dictionary of Lake District Place-names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society. pp. lx, 423 p. 136. ISBN   0904889726.
  7. Whaley, 2006, p. 411.
  8. Retrieved on 7 February 2008.
  9. Wainwright: Coast to Coast Archived 13 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Stagecoach Bus". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  11. Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  12. The IOEE brings together the enterprise sector for House of Lords celebration Archived 25 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 25 October 2014.
  13. Grasmere Gingerbread Co: History. Retrieved on 27 August 2012.
  14. Caroline Davies. The Guardian:Wordsworth's village bakers fight over their gingerbread. Retrieved on 27 August 2012.
  15. 1 2 Broomfield, Andrea (2007). Food and cooking in Victorian England: a history (1st ed.). Westport: Praeger Publishers. pp. 161–163. ISBN   978-0-275-98708-4.
  16. "Relationships and changes Grasmere UD through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  17. "Westmorland South Registration District". UKBMD. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  18. Tim Farron MP.
  19. Retrieved on 7 February 2008 Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  20. Landon, Letitia Elizabeth (1833). "picture". Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1834. Fisher, Son & Co.Landon, Letitia Elizabeth (1833). "sketch". Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1834. Fisher, Son & Co.
  21. Retrieved on 6 February 2008 Archived 28 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. Visit Cumbria: St Oswald's church
  23. , https://www.himalayanclub.org/hj/48/2/gordon-osmaston-and-tenzing/.