Pictures of Wasdale Head
in the county of Cumbria
About Wasdale Head
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Vast, lonely landscape of towering fells, jewel like streams and tarns situated at the head of the Wasdale Valley with the mighty Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain and Great Gable forming an almost uniformity range of mountains in the distance.
The area is of immense attraction to walkers. For those visitors not wishing to walk too far, there are not just memorable views of dramatic scenery, but some interesting buildings to be seen. Set amongst an ancient patchwork of fields at the head of Wasdale is the intriguing small church of St. Olaf, thought by many to be the smallest church in England. Another church, St.Mary's is found at near-by Gosforth, this is of great historical interest with Viking monuments renowned world-wide.
The interior of St.Mary's has much to impress with two 10th century "Hogback" tombstones seen covering the graves of Norse Chieftains, these depict houses of the dead carved with battle scenes. The Chancel Arch shows carved faces and resting on the western window cill is a roughcast iron Chinese bell. Other curiosities include an odd assortment of collection boxes, and a Viking fishing stone. In the churchyard amongst the ancient gravestones there is a striking Norse Cross believed to be from 940 AD, this important monument stands to a height of 14 feet, it depicts the victory of Christ over Heathen Gods. Gosforth lies between the coast and Nether Wasdale, it is worth the trip if only to see the church, but whilst here visit the highly scenic Blengdale Forest which offers superb walking and a close-by ancient packhorse bridge known as "Monk's Bridge".
Wasdale offers plenty of places to stay ranging from a camping site owned by the National Trust and a NT youth hostel, to more luxurious country house accommodation. It is also the home of the famous Wasdale Head Inn, considered generally to be the birthplace of climbing.
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