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Brotherswater seen from the south. From the top of High Hartsop Dodd
|Location||Lake District, Cumbria|
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
Brothers Water is in the Hartsop valley and is a small lake in the eastern region of the English Lake District, in the county of Cumbria. Once called Broad Water, it lies at the northern end of Kirkstone Pass, affording picturesque views on the descent towards Patterdale.
Dorothy Wordsworth, having left William sitting on Cow Bridge, walked beside the lake on 16 April 1802, delighted with ‘...the boughs of the bare old trees, the simplicity of the mountains, and the exquisite beauty of the path...the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be seen on them.’ The lake is not among the most popular of the National Park, being shallow and full of reeds. Water lilies bloom in July, providing colour.
The name Broad Water was changed in the 19th century after two brothers drowned there.
To the north east of Brothers Water is the village of Hartsop, which has several 17th-century stone farm buildings and cottages. Some of the buildings still contain spinning rooms where villagers would have made their own clothing, selling any surplus in the local market towns. The word Hartsop means "valley of the deer", which would have lived in the woodlands of the lower areas of the surrounding fells.
A walk through woodland skirts the western shore. From its northern end the walk leads to Patterdale. Southward it heads over Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside.
On the western side of Brothers Water is Hartsop Hall. The 16th-century building passed to Sir John Lowther in the 17th century. The village of Hartsop lies near the northeast corner of the lake. Brothers Water may be classified in either of two ways: as one of the Lake District's smallest lakes or one of its largest tarns.
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