|Died||10 July 1779|
|Known for||Antiquarian, author|
Thomas West (1720 – 10 July 1779) was a Jesuit priest, antiquary and author, significant in being one of the first to write about the attractions of the Lake District. Partly through his book, A Guide to the Lakes, the Romantic vision of the scenery and wilderness of the north of England took hold, ushering in a period of continued tourism in the Lakes.
The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.
West was born in Scotland in 1720, and was ordained a Catholic priest.He visited Europe, and received at least some of his education there, specialising in various branches of natural philosophy. He returned to Britain in his later life, moving to Furness in 1774 and residing at the seventeenth century Tytup Hall. West dedicated his remaining years to learning and writing about the area's landscape and history, publishing The Antiquities of Furness in 1774. He then embarked on his magnum opus, his Guide to the Lakes.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Furness is a peninsula and region of Cumbria in northwestern England. Together with the Cartmel Peninsula it forms North Lonsdale, historically an exclave of Lancashire.
West had travelled widely throughout continental Europe, and after accompanying various parties visiting the lakes, decided to write a detailed account of the scenery and landscape.Fellow Lakes resident William Brownrigg may have been a contributing factor in this decision. West set out to create a guide that would be of particular use to artists, writing in his introduction that he aimed
William Brownrigg was a British doctor and scientist, who practised at Whitehaven in Cumberland. While there, Brownrigg carried out experiments that earned him the Copley Medal in 1766 for his work on carbonic acid gas. He was the first person to recognise platinum as a new element.
'To encourage the taste of visiting the lakes by furnishing the traveller with a Guide; and for that purpose, the writer has here collected and laid before him, all the select stations and points of view, noticed by those authors who have last made the tour of the lakes, verified by his own repeated observations. '
To this end he included various 'stations' or viewpoints around the lakes, from which tourists would be encouraged to appreciate the views in terms of their aesthetic qualities.Published in 1778 the book was a major success. As well as being the first guidebook to the lakes, West was amongst the first writers to challenge the view of the wild and savage north, and his book was one of the first to stress the notion of the picturesque environment. It was particularly influential at a time when Grand Tours were popular, as West claimed the Lakes contained much of the scenery that could be enjoyed on the continent, likening it to the Alps or the Apennines. His book was followed by similar works by William Gilpin, Uvedale Price and William Wordsworth. West's book was the beginning of the era of 'true tourism' in the Lake District. It followed on from Dr John Brown's assessment in 1753 that the 'perfection' of the area rested on 'Beauty, horror and immensity', and challenged Daniel Defoe's interpretation of it in 1698 as the 'wildest, the most barren and frightful' place he had ever seen. Despite criticism and satirical spoofs of both the prose of the guides and the attitudes of the tourists they attracted to the Lakes from the likes of Thomas Rowlandson and William Combe, the book ran to seven editions before the turn of the century.
Picturesque is an aesthetic ideal introduced into English cultural debate in 1782 by William Gilpin in Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, etc. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the Summer of the Year 1770, a practical book which instructed England’s leisured travellers to examine “the face of a country by the rules of picturesque beauty”. Picturesque, along with the aesthetic and cultural strands of Gothic and Celticism, was a part of the emerging Romantic sensibility of the 18th century.
The Grand Tour was the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age.
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).
It was to be West's last work. He collected material for the second edition, but died a year after the book was first published, on 10 July 1779 at Sizergh Castle, Westmorland.He was buried in the Strickland family chapel, at Kendal Parish Church.
Westmorland is a historic county in north west England. It formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1974, after which the whole county was administered by the new administrative county of Cumbria. In 2013, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Westmorland.
Kendal Parish Church, also known as the Holy Trinity Church due to its dedication to the Holy Trinity, is the Anglican parish church of Kendal, Cumbria, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.
Cumbria is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, and the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the southwestern tip of the county.
Thomas Penson De Quincey was an English essayist, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821). Many scholars suggest that in publishing this work De Quincey inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West.
Alfred Wainwright ("A.W.") MBE was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District. Among his 40-odd other books is the first guide to the Coast to Coast Walk, a 192-mile long-distance footpath devised by Wainwright which remains popular today.
Appleby-in-Westmorland is a market town and civil parish in the Eden district, in the administrative county of Cumbria, in North West England. The parish had a population of 3,048 in 2011. It lies in a loop of the River Eden in the historic county of Westmorland, of which it was the county town. Its name was simply Appleby until the local-government changes of 1974. When a successor parish was formed from the former borough, the council changed its name to record that of the historic county.
Windermere is a town and civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. It has a population of 8,245 increasing to 8,359 at the 2011 Census, and lies about half a mile (1 km) east of the lake, Windermere. Although the town Windermere does not touch the lake, it has now grown together with the older lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere, though the two retain distinguishable town centres. Tourism is popular in the town owing to its proximity to the lake and local scenery. Boats from the piers in Bowness sail around the lake, many calling at Ambleside or at Lakeside where there is a restored railway. Windermere Hotel opened at the same time as the railway.
Dent is a small fell on the fringe of the English Lake District near the towns of Cleator Moor and Egremont. Sometimes known as Long Barrow, it is traditionally the first fell encountered by hikers following Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. It slopes from the westerly point of the Lake District National Park.
The Lake Poets were a group of English poets who all lived in the Lake District of England, United Kingdom, in the first half of the nineteenth century. As a group, they followed no single "school" of thought or literary practice then known. They were named, only to be uniformly disparaged, by the Edinburgh Review. They are considered part of the Romantic Movement.
A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells is a series of seven books by A. Wainwright, detailing the fells of the Lake District in northwest England. Written over a period of 13 years from 1952, they consist entirely of reproductions of Wainwright's manuscript, hand-produced in pen and ink with no typeset material.
Shipman Knotts is a fell in the English Lake District in Cumbria, England. It reaches a height of 587 metres (1,926 ft) and is situated in one of the quieter areas of the national park, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north-east of Kentmere village. Although not one of the best-known Lake District fells and strictly speaking it is just the southern shoulder of Kentmere Pike it earned a separate chapter in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells due to “Its characteristic roughness…rocky outcrops are everywhere on its steep slopes”.
The River Greta is a river in Cumbria, England. It is a tributary of the River Derwent and flows through the town of Keswick. "Greta" derives from the Old Norse "Griótá", meaning "stony stream". The name is in records dating from the early 13th century, and also appears in Latinised form, as "Gretagila", at the time of Magna Carta.
Walna Scar is a hill in the English Lake District, lying just south of a pass of the same name in the Coniston Hills. Its summit at 2,035 feet (620 m) is only slightly higher than the pass.
Grevel Charles Garrett Lindop is an English poet, academic and literary critic.
The Westmorland Gazette is a weekly newspaper published in Kendal, England, covering "South Lakeland and surrounding areas", including Barrow and North Lancashire. Its name refers to the historic county of Westmorland. The paper is now owned by the Newsquest group, forming part of Westmorland Gazette Newspapers, which includes the weekly freesheet South Lakes Citizen and other titles. It has an office in Ulverston in addition to its Kendal base. The circulation is about 17,000. It changed from broadsheet to compact format in August 2009. The editor, Kevin Young, also edits the local tabloid The Lancashire Telegraph.
Guide to the Lakes, more fully A Guide through the District of the Lakes, William Wordsworth's travellers' guidebook to England's Lake District, has been studied by scholars both for its relationship to his Romantic poetry and as an early influence on 19th-century geography. Originally written because Wordsworth needed money, the first version was published in 1810 as anonymous text in a collection of engravings. The work is now best known from its expanded and updated 1835 fifth edition.
Scout Scar, also called Underbarrow Scar, is a hill in the English Lake District, west of Kendal, Cumbria and above the village of Underbarrow. It reaches 771 feet (235 m). Scout Scar is the subject of a chapter of Wainwright's book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, but the summit he describes is a lower summit at 764 feet (233 m), 270m south of the highest point. Wainwright's anticlockwise recommended route also includes Cunswick Scar at 679 feet (207 m). The higher summit of Scout Scar has a topographic prominence of 109m and is thus classified as a HuMP, a hill with a prominence of at least 100m.
Esthwaite Lodge is a 19th-century house in Hawkshead, Cumbria, England; it is a Grade II listed building.
Margaret Cropper (1886–1980) was a Westmorland poet, author and hymnist, who rivalled Norman Nicholson as the leading 20thC Lake poet.