Helvellyn

Helvellyn from Red Tarn, flanked by Striding Edge (L) and Swirral Edge (R)

Date

29 August 2019

Location

Lake District, Cumbria
NY 34166 15161; 54.52741°N, 3.01874°W

Information

With an altitude of 950 m (3,117 ft), Helvellyn is the highest point of the eponymous mountain range lying between Thirlmere and Ullswater lakes in the Lake District. Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in England and its summit is managed by the John Muir Trust.

Further Reading

Helvellyn (Wikipedia)
Charles Gough (Wikipedia)

Thirlmere from Lower Man

Red Tarn from Helvellyn summit, with Ullswater in the background

Striding Edge

Trig point, summit plateau

From the cruciform shelter, summit plateau

Cairn, summit plateau, with Striding Edge to the left

Gough memorial, summit plateau. English Romantic artist Charles Gough (1784 – 1805) died on Helvellyn. His dog, Foxie, was found barking by his remains three months later. The inscription on the memorial reads:

Beneath this spot were found in 1805
The remains of Charles Gough
Killed by a fall from the rocks
His dog was still guarding the skeleton

Walter Scott describes the event in the poem
I climbed the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn
Wordsworth records it in his lines on
Fidelity
Which conclude as follows
The dog which still was hovering nigh
Repeating the same timid cry
This dog had been through three months space
A dweller in that savage place
How nourished here through such long time
He knows who gave that love sublime
And gave that strength of feeling great
Above all human estimate

In memory of that love & strength of feeling
This stone is erected
FPC 1890 HDR

Red Tarn from Swirral Edge

Swirral Edge

Swirral Edge

Swirral Edge

9 thoughts on “Helvellyn

    • Thanks, Anne. I was lucky to get a few breaks in the weather to get some shots – most of the hike was in the rain. The story of the dog reminds me of Greyfriar’s Bobby – I used to walk past the statue in Edinburgh to that little dog on a regular basis many years ago.

  1. A wonderful set of shots.
    I’ve walked Helvellyn a few times but I have never taken any photographs!
    These have bought back some great memories.
    The first time I walked up via Red Tarn to Swirral Edge and remember reaching the top and the world suddenly opening out before me. It was the first walk I’d ever taken in the Lake District and it lives well in my memories. I also walked down via Striding Edge and at the end of the day I felt I’d done a proper walk!
    Best wishes
    Mr C 🙂

  2. Graham, these are so beautiful. I took a quick look at the Wiki entry and like knowing that Wordsworth and Coleridge both walked up there. The soft colors and misty look in most of these carries that wild feeling nicely. (I’d say the wild feeling is heightened by the story of Gough and his dog, too). The cairn photo is beautifully composed, and I like the character of the cairn itself: so many rocks, so tightly built. The second Red Tarn image is striking, and the repeating shapes in the last four images make me think you have a real affinity for this place. Rain notwithstanding, it must have been a fine day.

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