For all you Helvellyn lovers out there here’s one to challenge your local knowledge. I recently received an email as below:
I wonder if you can help me? A great uncle of mine was an artist named R. Ward Binks, who lived in Temple Sowerby, Westmorland (as it was then). He was a successful painter, primarily a dog portraitist and painted commissions for King George V and other eminent people of his day. My brother and I inherited a painting, which my grandmother thought was one of the last that Ward Binks painted. It is a landscape, apparently of Helvellyn and possibly from the direction of Place Fell. I attach a (not very good) picture and I wonder if you or your colleagues might be able to tell me where the artist would have viewed this scene from, as I would like to visit and see how the view looks today.
Well this seemed like an easy one to solve and I sent a copy out to a few of the yokels looking for ideas. The Professor sent a detailed reply which seemed to contain a degree of certainty:
At a guess, this looks like the view up towards Helvellyn and Nethermost Pike from part of the way up Grisedale. The high point in the painting is possibly the highest point of Striding Edge, and the true summit is not visible. Nethermost Pike is to the left of the skyline. and St Sunday Crag comes steeply down on the left. The farm house could be Braesteads and the whole is possibly viewed from the less popular path up Grisedale on the right of the valley looking up it. Am a bit confused by the rocks in the foreground though as I don’t recall anything so prominent in that area. Could be a bit of artistic license??
Mike the Mountain Man was certain it was closer to home and showed the King George Playing Field in Patterdale with the Home Farm and Patterdale Hall Estate cottages up the Grisedale Valley.
Having made an abortive attempt to check out the Professors theory on Sunday which was thwarted by thick mist and rain by the skip full (see Grisedale Beck Photos), I set out this morning with the boys to investigate. Having spent three hours (in the shade I might add on an otherwise glorious sunny day) we are none the wiser. Tracking up the Grisedale Valley towards the Tarn brought no joy (see below)
We crossed over the valley in search if the sunshine and caught a glimpse behind Braesteads…
On the return leg we detoured up “The Hag” to check out Moutain Mike’s theory, which proved equally fruitless (although at least we’d found the sun by then)…
So the mystery remains. Either Mr Ward Binks was employing a high degree of artistic licence or we’re barking up the wrong fell. So anyone out there got any ideas? Let us know!