Greeting cards






North Country Guides


Poetry & Art

The Hayloft Stable


Young People

North Country Guides

Reflections from the Lakes


About this book:

  • ISBN: 978-1-910237-49-6

  • Published: February 2019

  • Price: £14.00 + postage

  • 264 pages (paperback)

  • Illustrated with 68 colour, black & white photographs and line drawings

Hayloft books are printed with an environmentally friendly policy. The offset of carbon emissions is through support of Forest Protection in Pará, Brazil.

Also by Robert Gambles

Man in Lakeland (1975)
Exploring the Lakeland Fringe (1989)
The Spa Resorts and Mineral Springs of Cumbria (1993)
Walks on the Borders of Lakeland (1995)*
Yorkshire Dales Place-Names (1995)
Walks Round Windermere (1997)
Echoes of Old Lakeland (2010)
Escape to the Lakes: The First Tourists (2013)*
Lake District Place-Names (2013)
The Lakeland Dales (2016)*
Words from the Wildwood: Ancient Place-Names (2017)

Translated and Edited
Espen Ash Lad: Folk Tales from Norway (2014)

* Lakeland Book of the Year Award winners




About the Book:
This book presents 38 fascinating reflections from the history and mythology of the Lake District. Robert Gambles writes eloquently and with a deep knowledge of his subject. The book includes chapters on Cumbria’s spa resorts, treacle mines, packhorse bridges, snuff manufacture, the eruption of Solway Moss, clock makers, outlaws of Inglewood Forest, wedding traditions, wild cats, ice-houses, and coffin routes over the fells.

The ripples of national history are reflected in a chapter on the Dissolution of the Cumbrian Monasteries. The book ends with a fantasy tale of the Nine Standards involving the trolls of Norwegian folklore, followed by a ghost story from Martindale and a love story from Aira Force.

Illustrated with 68 period drawings and etchings, plus black and white and colour photographs, this book offers an insight into many neglected or forgotten aspects of the Lakeland story and will be welcomed by any reader who loves Cumbria and its history.

About the Author:

Robert Gambles was born and grew up in Derbyshire. He was a scholar of St John’s College, Oxford, where he took an Honours degree in Modern History and a post-graduate Diploma in Education. He also has a Licentiate Diploma in Music. His professional career was spent in Education, mainly in Ely and Liverpool.
He acquired a love of the Lake District early in life and he has lived in Cumbria in his years of retirement during which he has explored the whole district and written a number of books and many articles on various aspects of its history.
The author has also pursued his interest in a wider national history and a critical study of some of the well-known stories from British history was published in 2013 under the title Great Tales from British History, and was described by The Guardian as ‘hugely enjoyable’.
Through his Norwegian wife he acquired a special interest in the life and history of Norway: Hayloft recently published his acclaimed Espen Ash Lad a collection of Folk Tales from Norway.
A keen but pragmatic interest in conservation and the protection of the natural environment has always featured in his philosophy of life and he was for many years a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Lake District. He has also worked as a volunteer for the National Trust. Cover image and some photographs inside the book by Val Corbett.


Robert‘s latest work is an expanded edition of the 2010 collection Echoes of Old Lakeland (Bookcase), and is a valuable treasure of glimpses into the region’s past. Opening with a history of Gilsland Spa and the region’s spa resorts and springs, the book ranges across subjects as diverse as the Three Shire Stones, the history of wild cats in Cumbria, packhorse bridges and Millom Castle.
Less documented figures are also given voice, with individual chapters on the poets Richard Braithwaite and John Richardson and the artist Ann Macbeth. A noted writer on Cumbria’s history, Robert is a knowledgeable guide through some fascinating subjects. Cumbria Life June 2019




Next page






To Order:

this book with payment via Worldpay's secure credit card website:


If you prefer to pay by cheque or to order by post then please print out and complete the order form by clicking the link:

Order Form



Copyright © Hayloft Publishing Ltd