button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

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Page 154:-
depth, and of a good clear pebbly bottom; breeding good store of fish, as eels, trouts (both common and grey), pikes, bass or perch, skellies, and particularly char, which is a fish generally about nine inches long, the rareness of which fish occasions many pots of it to be sent to London and other places yearly as presents. There are three sorts of chars; first, the male, being large, with a red belly, but the fish thereof somewhat white within, having a soft roe, these are called milting chars; secondly, the female, being also large, with not so red a belly, but the fish thereof very red within, having its belly full of hard roes or spawn, called roneing chars; thirdly, the female being not so large nor so red on the outside, but the reddest within, having no roes within its belly, and these are called gelt chars.
Sir Daniel Fleming says, there are no chars to be found save only in this lake and Coningston Water. Some other waters (he says) pretend to have chars in them, as Buttermere in Cumberland, and Ulleswater, which is between Westmorland and Cumberland; but these are generally esteemed by knowing persons to be only case, a kind of fish somewhat like unto char, but not near so valuable; but the owners of the fishery in Ulleswater do not assent to this position.
The fishery in the lake is farmed by several persons, who all together pay to the king's receiver for fishing 6l. a year, or for the fishing and ferry together £.6. 13s. 8d. and so it descends to their executors or administrators.
The fishing is divided into three Cables as they call them: 1. The high cable, from the water head to the char bed, half a mile above Culgarth. 2. The middle cable, from thence to below the ferry. The low cable, from thence to Newby. And in each cable there are four fisheries.
  Rothay, River
  Brathay, River

Out of this lake there yearly passes up the river Routhey many very large trouts, and up the river Brathey great store of case, which are like char, but spawn at another season of the year. And although these two rivers do run a good way together in one channel before they disembogue into Windermere water, they are both very clear and bottomed alike, yet scarce ever any trouts are found in Brathey, or case in Rowthey. Some few salmon also, at the spawning season, come from the sea through the lake and up the river Rowthey, but none ever up the Brathey.
Water fowl in great plenty resort to this lake, especially in winter; such as wild swans, wild geese, ducks, mallard, teal, widgeons, didappers, gravyes (which are larger than ducks, and build in hollow trees), and many others.
  Belle Isle
In this lake are several islands; the largest of which is now called Long-holme, but antiently it was called Wynandermere island.
Among the escheats in 21 Edward III. there is an order, that the wood in the island of Wynandermere called Brendwood (that is fire-wood, from the Saxon brennan, to burn), shall not be several but common to all the free tenants of Kirkby in Kendale, and of Strikland, Crosthwaite, Croke, and others, as well to depasture with all their cattle, as to take house-bote and key-bote at their will without the view of the foresters.
Unto whom this island was first granted in fee by the crown we have not found. It belonged in after-times to the Philipsons of Crooke; and was sold by Frances daughter and sole heir of sir Christopher Philipson, son of Huddleston Philipson, to Mr. Thomas Brathwaite of Crooke, who sold the same to one Mr. Floyer, who sold to Mr. Thomas Barlow, whose brother and heir Mr. Robert Barlow sold the same to Thomas English, esq.
  Civil War
  Robin the Devil

This island contains about 30 acres of ground, most of it arable; and had an handsome neat house in the middle of it called the Holme-house; which in the civil wars was besieged by colonel Briggs for eight or ten days, until, the seige of Carlisle being raised, Mr. Huddleston Philipson of Crooke, to whom it belonged, hastened from Carlisle, and relieved his brother Robert in Holme-house. The next day being Sunday Mr. Robert Philipson, with three or four more, rode to Kendal to take revenge of some of the adverse party there, passed the watch, and rode into the church up one aile and down another, in expectation to find one particular person there whom they were very desirous to have met with. Our author, Mr. Machel, who was a royalist, out of delicacy, did not chuse to name him as he was then living, but probably it was colonel Briggs. But, not finding him, Robert was unhorsed by the guards in his return, and his girths broken; but his companions relieved him by a desperate charge; and, clapping his saddle on without any girth, he vaulted into the saddle, killed a centinel, and galloped away, and returned to the island by two of the clock. Upon the occasion of this and other like adventures he obtained the appellation of Robin the devil. He was killed at last in the Irish wars at the battle of Washford.
Upon this island there is a remarkable echo; and, for hearing the same in perfection, Mr. Barlow provided two small cannon; on the explosion whereof towards the rock on the west side of the water, there is first a burst of the sound upon the rock, exactly similar to the first explosion by lightning, then, after an intermission of about three seconds, a sudden rattling of thunder to the left. And after another intermission, when one imagines all to be over, a sudden rumbling to the right, which passes along the rock, and dies away not distinguishable from distant thunder.
St. Mary Holme, otherwise called Lady Holme, is another island in this lake, so denominated from a chapel built antiently therein, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
By an inquisition after the death of Joan de Coupland the jurors found, that she died seised of the advowson of the chapel of St. Mary Holme within Wynandermere, which was valued at nothing, because the land that had belonged to the same had in old time been seized into the lord's hand, and laid within the park of Calvgarth.
Amongst the returns made by the commissioners to inquire of colleges, chapels, free chantries, and the like, in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. there is the "free chapel of Holme and Winandermere."
This island belonged to the Philipsons of Calgarth, and still goes along with the Calgarth estate. There are no ruins of the chapel remaining. It is a very small island. The chapel would cover near half of it. It is a rock with some few shrubs growing upon it in the middle of the lake, wonderfully adapted to contemplation and retirement.
There is another island antiently called Roger
gazetteer links
button -- "Long Holme" -- Belle Isle
button -- "Brathey, River" -- Brathay, River
button -- "St Mary Holme" -- Lady Holme
button -- "Routhey, River" -- Rawthey, River
button -- "Windermere Water" -- Windermere lake
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