Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale P.O.

Grid Reference: NY 396 158

Alfred Wainwright and Patterdale Post Office

Alfred Wainwright always loved Patterdale. He visited the village on his very first holiday in the Lake District in 1930 and spent time here on more than one occasion. 

There has been a post office on this site for just over a century and, during that time, it has been an important “watering hole” for walkers, particularly during the past 40 years when the ranks of its patrons have been swelled by an increasing army of Coast to Coast walkers.

Alfred Wainwright has a connection with the Patterdale Post Office because, in 1955, he took copies of his newly-published guide “The Eastern Fells” to the shop and asked the then owner, Mr. Dawson, if he would be willing to sell the book.

In “Wainwright in the Valleys of Lakeland”, p.59, he writes, “I have a soft spot for the post office, this being the first shop to sell copies of my first guidebook to the fells: an order for six was repeated within a week, a cause of much inward rejoicing and relief since I had incurred a debt of £900 with a local printer.”

And of course, the rest is history, as we know that Wainwright’s books were, and continue to be, the most popular guides to the fells that have ever been written. How strange to think it all started in this little shop just over 60 years ago.

© The Estate of A. Wainwright, with permission from Frances Lincoln Ltd.
Patterdale Village from 2nd Lakeland Sketch Book, sketch no.139 © The Estate of A. Wainwright, with permission from Frances Lincoln Ltd.
The same view today © Janet Wedgwood

By Derek Cockell, Secretary of The Wainwright Society

Making and Installing the Wainwright Plaque

The first lettering is carved on the slab of Kirkstone slate

© Jimmy Reynolds

Jimmy Reynolds with the finished plaque at patterdale Post Office

© Anne Clarke
Jimmy Reynolds with Gillian, Tom and Charlie the Cat at Patterdale Post Office

Inauguration of the Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale Post Office

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