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Fine Lines

William Green's Ambleside

Deborah Walsh


William Green, surveyor, artist and guidebook writer, first set eyes on the mountains of the Lake District in 1779. Making his home in Ambleside twenty years later, he witnessed the end of an era; the decline of the water-powered industries that the area had relied on for centuries, and the rise of a new enterprise, tourism. The Ambleside of the 17th and 18th centuries was fast disappearing under a relentless tide of gentrification.

Two centuries later Green’s meticulous etchings remain almost our only glimpse into that earlier world, with its rattling mills bounding Stock Gill and rambling galleried buildings clustered between the rocky outcrops.

In an age of artifice Green made it his objective to adhere as faithfully as possible to nature. As his firned Hartley Coleridge put it, “he taught his pencil as he taught his children, to speak the truth”.


Black Powder Press



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Illustrations and photographs throughout

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