Seathwaite (Borrowdale)

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude = 54.4968
longitude = -3.1834
official_name= Seathwaite
population =
shire_district= Allerdale
shire_county = Cumbria
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Workington Copeland (after 2009/10)
postcode_district =

Seathwaite is a hamlet in the Borrowdale valley in the Lake District of Cumbria, North West England. It is located convert|13|km|0 southwest of Keswick at the end of a minor road that heads south from the portion of the B5289 road that runs between Borrowdale parish and Seatoller over the Honister Pass. The nearby Seathwaite Fell takes its name from the hamlet and lies about convert|1.8|km|1 to the south–southwest of it. The name derives from a combination of the old norse words"sef" (sedges) and "thveit" (clearing) and may be taken to mean "Sedges clearing".cite web
author=Stuart Rae (cites book by Robert Gambles)
title=Lake District Walks and Photos
] The name, then spelled Seuthwayt, first appeared in written records dating from 1340.cite book
title=Lake District Place-names

Along the nearby Newhouse Gill that descends from Grey Knotts is a graphite minecite web
title=Old Cumbria Gazetteer, black lead mine, Seathwaite
author=Martin and Jean Norgate, Geography Department, Portsmouth University
] cite book|title=A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Western Fells
author=Alfred Wainwright
] thatwas started after the discovery of graphite there in 1555.cite web|author=Ann Bowker, Julian Thurgood, and Dave Newton|url=|title=Borrowdale Cumbria and the Lake District.|accessdate=2008-05-24] The extracted graphite was eventually used to supply the Cumberland Pencil factory in Keswick.The commercial mining of the unusual solid form of graphite found near Seathwaite hamlet was stopped by about 1891 when veins of the solid graphite became harder to find. Also, around that time the Keswick pencil factories had switched to making pencil pigments out of the familiar combination of clay powder and graphite powder. Graphite powder could be mined and imported from elsewhere.cite web|url=
title=Industries of Cumbria - Wad
] The mine entrance is north–northwest of the hamlet at coord|54|30|18.01|N|3|11|13.01|W|type:landmark.Seathwaite is the wettest inhabited place in England and receives around convert|3552|mm|0 of rain per year.cite web|url=|title=Lake District National Park Authority - Facts and figures|accessdate=2008-05-24] The nearby uninhabited Sty Head Tarn receives convert|4369|mm|0 of rain per year. cite web|url=|title=Seathwaite (Borrowdale) Cumbria the Lake District.|author=Ann Bowker|accessdate=2008-05-24] In September 1966, five inches of rain fell on Seathwaite and the surrounding fells in a hour, the resulting flood severely damaging the nearby Stockley Bridge, which lies 1200 metres south of the hamlet. Stockley Bridge is an ancient packhorse bridge which lies on the old route between Borrowdale and the Cumbrian coast. The bridge was widened in 1887 and had to be repaired after the 1966 storm. [] Gives details of Stockley Bridge.]

For many years Seathwaite was a secluded spot being connected to the main road at Seatoller by a rough track. However the emergence of fellwalking as an outdoor activity at the end of the 19th century led to the hamlet becoming a popular starting point for walkers bound for the surrounding mountains. The road was eventually surfaced which led to motorists parking their cars along the verges on the approach to the farm. Seathwaite has become one of the most popular starting points for walking in the UK giving access to well known mountains such as Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Glaramara. Famed Lakeland walker Alfred Wainwright made this comment:

See also

* Cumbrian placename etymology

Notes and references

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Look at other dictionaries:

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