14 August 2017

Once again I have been away from the blog for far too long. Sorry.

Last Sunday we went to a book fair at Ingleton and found a little gem.  It’s a guide to the Craven area published in 1850 and written by a chap called Howson (an old Horton name).  there is much of interest in this slim volume, but one section on Horton caught my eye.  Howson describes Newhouses Tarn and talks about the Tarn being stocked with brown trout from the river.  Who was doing the stocking and who was catching the fish he does not say, but remember that this is at least 30 years before the MAA were doing so.  He even mentions that the need for stocking was because of an absence of a feeder in which fish could breed.  It also puts back the formation of the Tarn to before 1850, a date which some authors have noted as being the date of its creation during a severe thunderstorm.

It may be that the stocking was organised by and for the Hammond family of Arncliffe who owned the land and the Tarn.  Maybe not. Mike H may have a view.

I am inclined to believe Howson because his many descriptions of local caves and potholes are surprisingly accurate and free from the usual Victorian guff.

If you come across this volume in a second hand book shop it’s well worth an investment.



One thought on “14 August 2017

  1. Yes, Ian, thanks to your help, I too have just managed to locate a copy of William Howson’s book, written in 1850, and it really is a gem. Totally new to me. In addition to all the fascinating details about our Upper Ribble catchment, there is also a comprehensive account of our neighbouring Lune catchment: a significant portion of which emanates amazingly close to our waters at Ribblehead. And there’s a massively significant section (on page 92) regarding those two rivers which converge in the middle of Ingleton to form the River Greta, which itself joins the Lune near Greta Bridge. As readers of my colleague John Bentley’s “History Of Ingleton” (2008) will know, the westernmost river, through Kingsdale, was named the River Doe throughout every single early historical written record (1592 being the clearest). The eastern river through Chapel-le-Dale was always the Twiss. That is until the idiot Balderstone brother and sister mistakenly transposed the rivers in their book “Ingleton: Bygone and Present” (1888). The Ordnance Survey just copied their one incorrect map and have done ever since … in spite of fully admitting to John and me that they had made a monumental error. But followed up by saying that they won’t correct future maps! William Howson’s book in 1850, Alfred Wainwright’s many books, Ingleton Angling Association, etc etc, sticks with the correct names to this day, Sadly, the OS (and Mitre Angling Club) persist with their erroneous river names. The Doe is, was and always will be the westernmost river that cascades over the stunning Thornton Force. The Twiss will always continue to meander down past The Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale, the Ingleton Outdoor Swimming Pool and the fish and chip shop before joining its “other half” and forming the Greta. There: that’s got it off my chest … again!

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