Where is this?

We have been contacted by  Andrew Fortune of Ilkley with regard to the picture below. In his email Andrew says:

Good morning,

It has been suggested that the attached image produced around 1910 depicts Whittington in the centre foreground.

Click on image to view full size

I wondered whether you could confirm?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards
Andrew Fortune

In a later email, Andrew suggests that maybe it is Barbon. Frankly, I don’t recognise it as either Whittington or Barbon but there may be someone among our number that has a better idea than me.  The fells in the background should be a clue to someone.

John Keegan

13 thoughts on “Where is this?”

  1. Would require the use of a deal of artistic licence w.r.t the Church
    The tower is in the wrong place and where is Hosticle Lane?

  2. On the assumption that the river is the Lune and that the is towards the East there is only one Church shown on OS Sheet 97 which is situated to the W of the Lune and that is Mansergh but the land does not match the painting to any great extent.

  3. It has been suggested that it is Barbon viewed from KL Golf Course.

    I have my doubts. Firstly the church isn’t due North of the golf course and secondly Barbon Beck is a great deal smaller than the “river” that can be seen to the right of the church.

    Thirdly. Barbon Church is at an elevation of 92m and Eskholme Pike, which is a mere 1.3 km NNW of the church is at an elevation of 307m. The land rises steeply beyond the church up towards Barbon Manor.

    The fells in the picture appear to be much further away than that. However, artistic licence being what it is, who knows?

    Finally. In 1910 the railway line ran immediately to the West of the church and directly towards the viewpoint from which the picture is framed.

  4. This photo of Gressingham was taken yesterday. Bit cloudy but some elements seem to stack up. I’m hoping to obtain a similar shot from the south of Whittington.

  5. Hello John,
    I saw the picture in the Gazette this week, and I think it is quite a way from Whittington. I am not 100% certain, but it looks very like the Whinfell ridge to the north of Kendal, stretching along the south side of the Westmoreland

    Borrowdale the A6 at Huck’s Bridge to Grayrigg. The peaks from left to right would then be Ashstead Fell, Mabin Cragg, Castle Fell then Whinfell Beacon at the right. The lake would be Whinfell Tarn, and the viewpoint would be from somewhere around the Patton Bridge or Selside area looking north to the ridge.

    I have a screen shot from Street view on my laptop that I can send to you if you are interested to compare it.

    Best regards
    Jono Martin

  6. Dear John,
    As I said in my email yesterday, I think I have identified the location of the picture in this week’s Gazette. See what you think:

    This is the best image I can get from streetview, which if you zoom into the hills to the centre left (Whinfell Beacon is in centre of the streetview image), presents a very similar skyline. I think your painting was from somewhere to the west of the google maps location, because of the lake, but I run out of road if I try any of the other locations like Skelsmergh or Meal Bank.

    Best regards
    Jono Martin

  7. Dear John,

    I think I can give a partial answer. The suggestion that this is a view towards Barbondale is correct. I am quite sure that the hills forming the background to the scene are as follows, starting from the pyramidal-looking peak on the right;-
    Whernside; Leck Fell/Gragareth/Crag Hill; the range is then cut by Barbondale along the Dent fault.

    Rising on the other side of the fault is Middleton Calf (recently identified as an English mountain, as a resurvey now puts it just over 2000 feet). The further hills extending towards the left side of the picture are the Howgills, with the distinctive little peak of the western spur of Fell Head clearly visible.

    The middle ground includes the partly wooded slopes above Cowan Bridge and Leck, and the middle section of the Lune Valley between Sedbergh and K Lonsdale, though this is rather obscured by the low hill in the foreground.

    I am not confident about the foreground. I guess it is somewhere in the area SW of Whittington, but I am not very familiar with the local topography. There seems to be a section of the meandering Lune on the right side of the picture. The low hill with two buildings backed by a wood should be identifiable from a good map, but I have failed to find such a feature on the recent OS maps. It is I suppose possible that since 1918, the woodland has changed since the picture was painted, and that the buildings have been removed. In the immediate foreground, the artist seems to be looking from the brow of another hill, over a small hamlet with trees. Of course, it may be part of a larger village hidden by the hill, or off to the left of the edge of the picture. There is quite a distinctive larger building evident. So far I have not been able to identify this group of houses from the maps, in relation the topography depicted.

    It is tempting to suggest artistic licence, but the accuracy of the background, and the detail of the foreground, make me think the artist was seeking to represent the reality as he saw it. So this bit remains an intriguing puzzle!

    Martin Dodds

  8. Dear Martin,

    Very many thanks for your very detailed email. It has been suggested that the church and small village (hamlet) is Gressingham which, would you believe, is indeed SW of Whittington. Gressingham also has appropriate high ground in the right place.

    Lining up the church with one of the fells you identified could give a line of site to the location of the artist.

    The original poser was set by Andrew Fortune of Ilkley, in an email to our village website. I have taken the liberty of copying this reply to Andrew, so you may receive a response from him.

    Very best regards.

    John Keegan

  9. Thanks John,

    Next time I fancy a ride out I might go to Gressingham out of interest!

    Best regards,


    PS I have noticed a ‘Loyn’ bridge over the Lune at Gressingham on the map, is there any connection with the loyne park of your email address?

  10. Re your letter to the Westmorland Gazette.

    This is a view northwards up the Lune Valley, looking over the village of Gressingham, “taken” from the hill to the south of the village, just north of the hamlet of Eskrigge.

    As you can see from the accompanying photo, taken yesterday, it is not presently possible to see the village from this point because of the line of large trees, although it may be easier in winter. You can, however, still see the Vicarage, and, with a bit of fiddling, part of the gable end of Old Hall Barn.

    The skyline is, however, still the same, even though Calf Top has recently been upgraded to “Mountain”, its height having been re-measured by Ordnance Survey at 2001 feet above sea level (apparently the cut off is 2000).

    Anyway, if you haven’t heard already from loads of other people, I hope you find this useful – I’ve enjoyed the bit of topographic sleuthing.

    Best wishes
    Philip Storey

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