Puneet Varma

Seathwaite, Allerdale

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OS grid reference  NY233118
Country  England
Post town  KESWICK
Shire county  Cumbria
Dialling code  017687
Region  North West
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Postcode district  CA12
District  Allerdale
Civil parish  Borrowdale

UK parliament constituencys  Workington, Copeland (after 2009/10)

Scafell pike from seathwaite november 2016

Seathwaite is a small hamlet in Borrowdale valley in the Lake District of Cumbria, North West England. It is located 13 kilometres (8 mi) southwest of Keswick at the end of a minor road that heads southwest from the hamlet of Seatoller, which is where the B5289 road begins its steep climb up the pass to Honister Hause on the boundary between Borrowdale civil parish and Buttermere civil parish.


Map of Seathwaite, Keswick, UK

The nearby Seathwaite Fell takes its name from the hamlet and lies about 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) to the south-southwest of it. The name derives from a combination of the Old Norse words sef (sedges) and thveit (clearing) and may be taken to mean "clearing in the sedges". The name, then spelled Seuthwayt, first appeared in written records in 1340.

For local government purposes Seathwaite forms part of the civil parish of Borrowdale, the district of Allerdale, and the county of Cumbria. It is within the Workington constituency of the United Kingdom Parliament, and the North West England constituency of the European Parliament.


Along the nearby Newhouse Gill, which descends from Grey Knotts, is a graphite mine which was opened after the discovery of graphite there in 1555. The extracted graphite was eventually used to supply the Derwent Cumberland Pencil Company factory in Keswick. The commercial mining of the unusual solid form of graphite found near the hamlet of Seathwaite ceased around 1891 when veins of the solid graphite became harder to find. In addition, around that time the Keswick pencil factories had switched to making pencil pigments out of the familiar combination of clay powder and graphite powder. Graphite powder could be mined and imported from elsewhere. The mine entrance is north–northwest of the hamlet at 54°30′18.01″N 3°11′13.01″W.

For many years Seathwaite was a secluded spot, being connected to the main road at Seatoller by a rough track. However the emergence of fellwalking as an outdoor activity at the end of the 19th century led to the hamlet becoming a popular starting point for walkers bound for the surrounding mountains. The road was eventually surfaced, which led to motorists parking their cars along the verges on the approach to the farm. Seathwaite has become one of the most popular starting points for walking in the UK since it gives access to well-known mountains such as Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Glaramara. Famed Lakeland walker Alfred Wainwright made this comment:


Seathwaite is the wettest inhabited place in England and receives around 3,552 millimetres (140 in) of rain per year. In September 1966 five inches of rain fell on Seathwaite and the surrounding fells in an hour, the resulting flood severely damaging the nearby Stockley Bridge, which lies 1200 metres south of the hamlet. Stockley Bridge is an ancient packhorse bridge on the old route between Borrowdale and the Cumbrian coast. The bridge was widened in 1887 and had to be repaired after the 1966 storm. On 19–20 November 2009 Seathwaite received 314.4 millimetres (12.38 in) of rain in a 24-hour period, a major contributor to the 2009 Cumbria and southwest Scotland floods. This was a record for the amount of rain falling anywhere in the UK within 24 hours, until it was beaten in December 2015.


Seathwaite, Allerdale Wikipedia

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