Ullswater Heritage Knowledge Bank
Exploring the Knowledge Bank
Browse the contents below or use the search facility to look up a particular topic, place or person.
Follow Ullswater’s history from the first farmers and their stone circles to the iron-using Celtic people and peaceful Norse settlers who gave us many of the place names we use today. Find out how the Norman Conquest transformed the churches and parishes of the valley and how Border Troubles led to construction of fortified farmsteads known as pele towers. Follow the rise of Yeoman Farmers and the traditional Cumbrian farmhouse. See how the industrial mines and mills shaped the landscape and the economy. Imagine the early tourists, how they viewed the landscape and what form of transport they used. Discover how the Lake District has come to be a sort of National Property, protected for all to enjoy.
Follow the changing fortunes and methods of those involved in farming, fishing, or mining and quarrying. See how local services, including transport, have changed, and new services, such as Patterdale Mountain Rescue and Helvellyn Fell Top Assessors have evolved. Find out about sports and pastimes past and present, including cricket, yachting, tennis and more. Visit the King George V Field in Patterdale, one of the most scenic locations for cricket and host to the annual Patterdale Dog Day, with its sheepdog trials and hound and terrier shows. Discover the traditional buildings of the valley and learn how to build a dry-stone-wall.
You may like to focus on a particular part of the Ullswater Valley: Pooley Bridge and Barton, Patterdale and Glenridding, Matterdale and Watermillock, Aira and Glencoyne, Dacre and Stainton (including Dalemain), or Lowther and Askham
You can also explore 4 of these areas by taking an Aerial Tour which highlights points of interest along the way. There are currently Aerial Tours for Pooley Bridge, Glenridding, Aira Force and Howtown (Hallin Fell)
This is the place where memories are stored. Miles Macinnes remembers the Big Freeze of 1962/3. Maybe you have childhood memories of life in the valley, like Ellen Sinclair, whose parents ran Patterdale PO form 1937-44. Maybe you are wondering, like John Spivey, why a particular species is more or less common than it used to be. Perhaps, like Myles Martindale Fox Oliver, you were called after a place in the Ullswater valley.
Ullswater, the lake, is at the heart of the valley. Find out how it was formed and about its ecology. Imagine Pooley Bridge in its fisheries heyday in the 1800s and find out how the lake was saved from almost becoming a reservoir.
Discover the impact of Storm Desmond in the valley and actions being taken by Ullswater Catchment Management CIC to mitigate future flood damage. Learn about river restoration projects by the National Trust, and Eden Rivers Trust.
Get a feel for the valley's geological history - a story of volcanos, colliding continents, tropical seas, and ice.
Help build the Heritage Knowledge Bank
The Ullswater Heritage Knowledge Bank is a project of Friends of the Ullswater Way. Since September 2020 this community-led project has been collecting stories, memories, photographs and articles which we hope will bring the rich heritage of the valley alive for both residents and visitors.
Send us your questions about the heritage of the Ullswater Valley
Seen something unusual? Curious about a place name/ Wondering about life in the Ullswater Valley - past or present? Please send us your questions and help us grow the Knowledge Bank