10 facts about the Lake District and Windermere
Below we list our top 10 facts about the Lake District and Windermere:
1.The Slave Trade at Storr´s Hall
Storr´s Hall was built by a wealthy shipowner, John Bolton who dealt exclusive in the slavery trade. The slaves were said to have been kept in cellars in Storr´s Hall until buyers could be found for them.
2.Electric Street lighting
Windermere and Bowness were the second part of England to have electric street lighting, which was supplied by a hydro-electric plant at Troutbeck Bridge. The first was Newcastle upon Tyne.
In 1895 Windermere was frozen over for 6 weeks, making it possible to walk from one side to the other. It also froze in 1864, 1946 and 1963.
One of the Lake District´s most celebrated former residents was poet and author, William Wordsworth, who published his ´Guide to the Lakes´ in 1810, which attracted more visitors to the region. By 1835, the book had reached its fifth edition.
5.Tourism in the Lake District
Tourism in the Lakes was evident from Victorian times when wealthy visitors would arrive to breathe in the fresh country air, which they felt was beneficial to their health. Many bought houses overlooking Windermere which still stand today.
6.Lake District Railways
The Kendal and Windermere Railway was the first railway to be built in the Lake District, reaching Kendal in 1846 and Windermere in 1847. The line was then extended to reach Coniston and Penrith, through Keswick and Cockermouth. The line to Lakeside in Windermere was opened in 1869 to cater for a huge influx of visitors.
7.Dangerous and uncivilised
As late as the 19th Century, wild, remote areas of the Lake District were seen as dangerous and uncivilised, and largely uninhabited. The romantic poets, including William Wordsworth who spent most of his life in the Lake District, found plenty of inspiration in the rugged and wild countryside, that others were afraid to venture in to.
8. The longest lake
The longest lake in England is Windermere (although it is officially a ´mere´), at 10.5 miles in length. In the heavy rains of 2009, Windermere rose by 157cm.
9.The Lake District National Park
The Lake District National Park, which was established in 1951, is one of 15 National Parks in the UK. The others are: Brecon Beacons, the Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Loch Lomond and Trossachs, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs, the Yorkshire Dales, the Broads and the New Forest.
The only official lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others are ´Waters´ or ´Meres.´
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