Book Review  

  A Part of a Review by Joyce Wilson in ‘The Keswick Reminder’, Friday, March 2nd 2012

Rediscovering Our Past”

This is a very professionally produced book which is the culmination of the joint efforts of many members of the parishes of St John’s-in-the-Vale and Wythburn.

It takes only minutes to drive from Dunmail Raise to Keswick, probably without noticing the scattered communities which live in the two valleys divided by High Rigg. In fact there are seven Townships! The people who lived their lives in these remote places over the centuries have gone, but the stone buildings they lovingly built remain to tell their unique stories to those who have the time to uncover them.

Such a group of people, those who now live in these parishes, along with former residents, under the leadership of the Revd Geoff Darrall, have joined together and completed this well-researched and attractive book. Many people who live in the scattered small communities in the Keswick area will have family connections with those whose lives are covered by this research.

The historical facts are related in stories and are told geographically, recounting the history of each dwelling, be it a house, farmstead, pile of stones, row of cottages or mansion. Many of the contributors are telling their own family stories.

I know that next time I walk along the ridge of High Rigg I’ll be able to look below and spot and name those houses I see. I’ll think of those long dead, like Blind Charlie, the eccentric Capt, John Tickell, the ghosts of Hollin Root and so many more. I will imagine the shouts of children mingling with the noises from the men and horses reaching me from the valleys below. What about names like Xpopherus Wren, who was born in Bridge House and was baptised at Crosthwaite on February 10th, 1566? Are there any descendants with such a name living in the area?