What’s new on the Heritage Trail?

by Anne Clarke

Recent additions to the heritage installations along the Ullswater Way are the third Poetry Stone in Hallinhag Wood, the Clarkson Memorial in Pooley Bridge, and two installations with Wainwright connections.

At Patterdale Post Office a plaque reminds us that the PO was the first place to sell Alfred Wainwright’s first Guide “The Eastern Fells”. Carved by local sculptor,  Jimmy Reynolds, it even uses the distinctive form of ‘w’ used by A.W.


On the high path from Pooley Bridge to Howtown, a beautiful Sitting Stone invites us to reflect on Wainwright’s thoughts on Ullswater, “that loveliest of lakes, curving gracefully into the far distance.” This installation is also the work of Jimmy Reynolds.  The Sitting Stone is located on the section of path below Arthur’s Pike and commands one of the finest views of the lake.


There will be an Opening Ceremony for the two Wainwright installations on Thursday June 1st – 2.15pm at Patterdale Post Office and 5pm at the Sitting Stone. For more information contact ceciliafryis@gmail.com.

The Poetry Stones in Hallinhag Wood, between Howtown and Sandwick, celebrate the work of poet Kathleen Raine, who lived in Martindale in the 1940s. She had a profound sense of the beauty and spirit of the natural world and wrote some of her finest poems whilst enjoying the peace and seclusion of the valley.


The artist Pip Hall has worked in situ to create the three Poetry Stones, carefully selecting appropriate stones, and carving Kathleen Raine’s words to complement the natural form of the stones. A small finger post on the side of the path invites those who pass to search for the stones. They are about 20m above the path.


The Poetry Stones will be inaugurated in a small ceremony at 4pm on Saturday 24th June.

The Clarkson Memorial remembers leading anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson who lived for 10 years at Eusemere in Pooley Bridge. In 1787 he helped establish the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The Society’s emblem was a kneeling slave in chains, surrounded by the words “Am I not a man and a brother”. It is this emblem that is reproduced on the Clarkson Memorial by sculptor Jimmy Reynolds.

Finished installation landscape

Members of the Clarkson family will attend the opening ceremony for the Clarkson Memorial on Sunday May 21st at 3pm.

In total there are now 7 installations in place along the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail and another 2, possibly 3, are coming soon. Search the Heritage Trail pages of the website to find out more about each installation. We hope you enjoy them and that they encourage you to delve deeper into the history and culture of the Ullswater Valley.

Photocredits: Poetry Stones – Jane Penman. Clarkson Memorial – Janet Wedgwood. Wainwright plaque and Sitting Stone – Anne Clarke.