A detailed and well researched glimpse of the characters, the customs, the social life, the hunts and hound trails that took place before the valley became a reservoir in the 1930s. The annual Mardale Shepherds’ Meet is probably the best known of all the ‘meets’ of the Lakeland Fell Packs, yet there does not appear to have been a book written about it before. "Older than the memory of man", it carries on, albeit at a different venue, to this day. This book sets out to put the hunt and its impact on the small valley and the occupants into some kind of perspective.
Recently I was told that 95% of Lakeland was unexplored in an Archaeological sense. With the abolition of Fox Hunting in 2005 there was a slight chance that places and structures associated with fox hunting would in the fullness of time join them, lost in time and memory.
It was with this in mind that I began to compile material for my website. It is not my intention for it to glorify or be used as propaganda for or against hunting, but simply to record associations with a 'sport' traditional to Lakeland for over 300 years.
I am a native Lakelander with roots going back to 1700, the 4th generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy Lakeland stone to free trapped terriers and also 'carried the horn' on occasions. I hope this site is of interest to you. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story.read more