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Semer Water in Wensleydale:

Landscape, Legends and People


About this book:

  • ISBN: 9781904524745 (paperback)

  • Published 2010

  • Price £15.00 + postage

  • 154 pages

  • Illustrated with 16 colour photographs plus map

About the Author:
STUART Lennie, a retired college lecturer, now living in upper Wensleydale, has walked in all corners of the Yorkshire Dales for over 30 years. One of his favourite places is legendary Semer Water, in Wensleydale, a small but beautiful lake surrounded by high fells, pastures and meadows, much loved by those who discover it.


'Semer Water in Wensleydale' is a new book which deals with the landscape, legends and people in that beautiful setting.
Written by Stuart Lennie, a retired college lecturer and with photographs by his wife, Pamela Robinson, it contains a wealth of information about the lake but also highlights the astonishing lives of people who have lived nearby down the centuries.
The legend of Semer Water with its sunken village and links with the River Bain, said to be the shortest river in England, are very well known and documented. Mr Lennie adds to that knowledge but he also provides detailed histories of the Quaker settlements of the locality and the Roman links with Addleborough, the flat-topped peak that is one of the features of upper Wensleydale. We are told that it does not qualify as a mountain because it is less than 2,000ft high; Addleborough can boast only a mere 1,564ft.
Due to its prominence, it is not surprising that Addleborough has its own legend. This tells of a treasure that is buried on the slopes of the hill, one that is protected by lots of large stones of like sizes.
This is a burial ground, but ancient legend suggests a giant was struggling from Skipton Castle to Pendragon while carrying a massive chest of gold. As he collapsed beneath its weight, the ground opened up and swallowed the treasure - and it is still there, so the story tells us.
But this is not a book that deals solely with legends and history. It is about the people who lived and worked near Semer Water, some of whom achieved remarkable things. The Fothergills of Carr End were one such dynasty, as were the Metcalfes with their famous siege of Raydale House, then occupied by the Robinsons.
This is a book into which the reader can dip time and time again to find something new and interesting... This book has long been needed and is a useful contribution to the history of the area.
Nicholas Rhea, Darlington and Stockton Times, February 2010.

Cover photograph by Pamela Robinson shows the Carlow Stone, Semer Water and Crag.


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By the same author:

The Roof of Wensleydale


Copyright © Hayloft Publishing Ltd