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The Roof of Wensleydale:

A portrait of Wensleydale's 2,000 foot Fells


About this book:

  • ISBN: 9781904524304 (paperback)

  • Published 2005

  • Price £15.00 + postage

  • 195 pages

  • Illustrated with 27 colour photographs and maps



About the Book:
THIS book is an exploration and portrait of Wensleydale's two thousand foot fells - Wether Fell, Dodd Fell, Great Knoutberry Hill, Lunds Fell, Great Shunner Fell and Lovely Seat. As well as examining the special features and topography of each fell, the author also looks at the general history of the area, including the early settlers, farming and mining. Anyone interested in North Yorkshire in general or Wensleydale in particular, will want to have this book on their shelves.
Stuart Lennie, a retired college lecturer, now living in upper Wensleydale, has walked in all corners of the Yorkshire Dales for over 25 years. His favourite group of fells are those around Hawes whose topography, features and history are the subjects of this book.

This book was featured in a 'Dales Diary' television programme in July and December 2007.

'The kind of book I like best: full of stories and information, giving us a real sense of somewhere very special. Packmen, drovers, lead miners, Romans and Danes - all their stories are here and together they make up the story of one of the most beautiful places on the planet.' Mike Harding

'...This book rests on a secure foundation of study both on the hoof and in the armchair. For this isn't the sort of topic you can set about without getting your boots muddy... What comes through above all is an informing enthusiasm, reminiscent of Hilaire Belloc's feeling for the Sussex Downs...' Trevor Johnson,

To the High Places
Stuart Lennie is a retired college lecturer who now lives in Upper Wensleydale. This is more than just a walking book. Ostensibly, it is a guide, on foot, to the summits of six spectacular fells in Upper Wensleydale, familiar outlines to most of us even if we've never walked them - Wether Fell, Dodd Fell, Great Knoutberry, Lunds Fell, Great Shunner Fell and Lovely Seat. These are all fells above 2,000 feet which in another country to the north would be known as Marilyns - we have no Munroes.
But route description is far less important than a discursive description in each chapter of the many different aspects of Dales history and life - Romans, packhorsemen, poets, painters, hill farmers, climate, woodlands, interspaced with delightful, informative essays and anecdotes on such fascinating topics as Dent Marble, the Cam High Road, peat digging, lime kilns, the Settle-Carlisle line and the Pennine Way. It's a rich treasure house of interesting and well researched facts, presented in a narrative which if contained in a slightly old-fashioned format, (for example with its evocative photographs grouped in the central section), is all the better for that, reflecting as it does a long literary guide-book tradition in the Dales.
Stuart's book is a very good read for winter days, an excellent bedside books to dip into. But it will also inspire the reader with a new appetite, as the days lengthen, to get out to explore the magnificent heritage of the Yorkshire Dales.

Yorkshire Dales Review, Winter 2006.


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