St James Church, Buttermere, Cumbria
Buttermere is a beautiful but very small hamlet in the north west corner of the English Lake District. Surrounded by mountains it is a popular centre for Fell Walkers. Sadly many visitors just drive past this unassuming stone building by the road. Many who do know the church also know it by another name the “Shepherds Church”.
The interior is simple as one would expect for a small country church, but none the less it has its own charm….
In more recent time there has been an increase in the number of visitors calling at St. James. They call to pay tribute to Alfred Wainwright, a hero for Fell Walkers. Wainwright wrote and illustrated with unique maps as series of 7 Lakeland Fell Guide Books, in all 214 fells were described in detail and various routes for each were created. His famous Guide Books still sell today 25 years after his death *.
Wainwright was a man who avoid publicity, most of his walking was alone. So it is not surprising that his memorial is simple….but also poignant.
A simple plaque in a window. The significance is that it looks out onto the Fell known as Hay Stacks, his favourite. In one of his guides he make mention that he wishes his ashes to be scattered by the little tarn on the fell top….but in true Wainwright style he describes it so much better then most….
A Little Bit of Grit
* Wainwright also wrote over 40 other Guide Books including another famous Guides to both the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast Walk
(C) David Oakes 2016