Inside this issue
Dalt Quarry, Borrowdale
I’m an amateur photographer who enjoys landscapes, but living in Hertfordshire means I have travel to get the sort of images that interest me. This usually means The Lakes and Scotland. Getting my LRPS just recently has encouraged me to try and publish more of my images.
As a regular visitor to the northern Lake District I’ve become interested in photographic opportunities offered by the slate quarries in Borrowdale. Images of these quarries appear from time to time on Facebook and elsewhere, and during my recent visits I followed up on some of these leads. My own photography is mainly of the ‘classic landscape’ genre, but increasingly of late I’ve been interested in more abstract images to be found with closer study of details seen in natural landscapes.
One location that I have visited a number of times is Dalt Quarry, found not far from the footpath leading south from Grange in Borrowdale towards Castle Crag, OS grid 249165. (It is sometimes mentioned on Google as John Dalt Quarry, without references). A recent publication ‘Slate Mining in the Lake District: An Illustrated History By Alastair Cameron, 2016’refers to it by saying “In the woods below Castle Crag can be found the Dalt Quarry which was closed in 1973 by the National Trust on ‘amenity grounds’ causing 18 local men to be put out of work”. Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the North Western Fells doesn’t mention Dalt Quarry as such, although the chapter on nearby Castle Crag does include the location of Dalt Quarry as being within “one mile of country containing …. In the author’s humble submission …the loveliest square mile in Lakeland – the Jaws of Borrowdale”. Chris Jesty’s 2008 revision of Wainwright’s Central Fells shows a dotted footpath leading to and from Dalt Quarry, in the chapter ‘Ascent from Grange – Castle Crag 5’.
On a second visit I was determined to explore it more thoroughly, and found there are easily obtained - and much better - views of the coloured rock strata to be had by a short scramble up to the right, where it’s possible to walk around the quarry edge – take care! - and look down from above onto the differently coloured rock faces below. This second visit was in January when there were no leaves on the trees to obstruct the views. For reasons that must be due to the local geology, this quarry presents a high vertical face with, on one side, diagonal brightly coloured yellow/orange stripes running from top to bottom. On the opposite side are rusty/reddish strata. Some images taken in January 2017 are shown here.
Quarries in Borrowdale are a subject for photography I plan to explore more thoroughly in future. I think they offer great potential for ‘landscapes within’.