And so we come to the final week of the A-Z Blogging Challenge!
It originally consisted of 3 much smaller lakes, which were merged into one by the creation of a small dam in the 19th century. Originally the area was common grazing land, but came into the possession of the Marshall family of Coniston after an enclosure act in 1862. James Marshall, who was a member of Parliament, had spruce, larch and pine planted around the tarn.
By the end of the 19th century, the area was already well known. H.S. Cowper, a local archivist, said in 1899 that Tarn Hows was ‘beloved by skaters in winter and picnic parties in summer’.
In 1930 the Marshall family sold much of their land to Beatrix Potter, who in turn bequeathed it to the National Trust, which is still responsible for this ‘beauty spot.’
In the summer, it’s frequently very busy with tourists, but we’ve been there when there’s been hardly anyone else around. On one occasion the grass slope leading down to the tarn was so damp that I think we all slipped, slithered and fell at least a dozen times.
My daughters used to love splashing about and swimming in the tarn, and we’ve tramped through the woods around the tarn many times. There’s now a good wide path but in the early days it was simply a stony track. At the southern end of the tarn, the water drains down Tom Gill with some pretty waterfalls.
The National Trust gradually improved car parking facilities, and I was glad to see they finally (about 3 years ago) erected a small building providing public toilets, which was the only thing the area lacked, especially if we wanted to stay there for the whole of a summer afternoon!