|Grasmere and the Lake District has a
history and culture. Much of the Lake District landscape
was formed by volcanoes about 450
million years ago, and the mountain rock is called "Borrowdale Volcanic". The eruption
that created the mountains around Grasmere is the
largest volcanic event ever to take place on our planet! The mountains near Keswick
in the North of the Lake District are even older and were formed by rising
sea-beds. This northern rock is called "Skiddaw Slate".
Lake District mountains are amongst the oldest in Europe
and were once as high as the Himalayas are today! The mountains we know and
have been shaped by ancient glaciers and millions of years of weather!
|Stone slate has been extracted from the
Lake District since Neolithic times,
about 5,500 to 3,500 BC when, arrow
& axe heads were exported from Langdale to the rest of the UK and even continental Europe!
Axe heads were prized & valued possessions - highly polished and
|2000 years ago the Romans were in the
Lake District, extracting metals and minerals and keeping the Brigantes
tribe under control! There were Roman settlements at Ambleside (4 miles
Ravenglass and along Hadrian's wall. There are remains of a Roman fort
at Hardknott, and the summit of a mountain called High Street was a
Roman Road connecting two Roman forts at Brougham Castle (near Penrith) and Ambleside (Galava).
|Dunmail Raise, the road heading north from Grasmere, is
named after the last Celtic King of Cumbria who was defeated in battle
here by the Anglo Saxons in 945AD. It is said that his crown was thrown
into Grisedale Tarn
at the end of the battle.
|The Lake District has
place names from the Anglo Saxon language - it would seem that the invading
English (and the Normans after them) left the place in the hands of the
Ancient British and later the Norse settlers. Old Norse being the first
language of Lakeland well into the 13th century.
Over a thousand years ago
Norsemen settled in Cumbria and many of the place names reflect this
today. The river which flows past the hotel is the "Rothay"
which is Old Norse for "Trout River". The word "gill"
(as in Sour Milk Gill) means a ravine pool below a waterfall, and place names
ending in "thwaite" refer to a clearing or settlement.
|Most of the dry stone walls that form the boundaries of
fields on the hills here, date from around 200 years ago, but some have
much earlier origins. The shepherd monks from Conishead kept sheep in the
Grasmere valley in the 12th & 13th Centuries. Sour milk Gill was the
site of a
fulling mill - used in the preparation of wool, which was a major
feature of the Lake District economy.
|Some historians think that the name
"Grasmere" derives from "griss" - Old Norse for "pig" because of
the ancient practice of herding swine in the valley. Others say that Grasmere simply means
"grassy lake" because, for much of the year, it is surrounded by
"grise" - lush green vegetation. Spreading "gris" or green
rushes on the Church floor is an ancient practice preserved today in
Grasmere's annual Rushbearing Ceremony.
Bridge House Hotel Grasmere is
surrounded by the Lake District's wealth of historical interest and
numerous cultural and literary connections...
...and right on our own
doorstep there is some of the finest scenery in the world.
|Come and share it