Peel Island, Cumbria

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To be distinguished from Piel Island.
Peel Island.

Peel Island (formerly known as Montague Island or the Gridiron[1]) is one of the three islands of Coniston Water in the English Lake District, Cumbria. The two others are Fir Island (which is connected to the shore unless the water is particularly high) and Oak Island.[2] It is most famous for being one of the inspirations for Arthur Ransome's Wild Cat Island. Today, it is a popular tourist destination,[2] and belongs to the National Trust.[3]

History[edit]

Peel Island

Peel Island has belonged to the National Trust since it was given to them by John Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 7th Duke of Buccleuch, along with 11 acres (4.5 ha) of woodland, in 1932.[4]

Wild Cat Island[edit]

Peel Island is considered to be one of the origins of the fictional Wild Cat Island in the 1930 book Swallows and Amazons and its sequels, by Arthur Ransome.[2] Taqui Altounyan, sister of Roger Altounyan and inspiration for one of the characters in Swallows and Amazons, described Peel Island in her semi-biographical novel In Aleppo Once as "like a green tuffet, sitting in the water, the trees covering the rocks".[5][6] The island also features in W. G. Collingwood's novel Thorstein of the Mere, A Saga of the Northmen in Lakeland. Ransome, at the age of eight, first met the Collingwoods at a family picnic on Peel Island: a chance meeting that would prove to have important consequences in Ransome's later life, with Collingwood's grandchildren providing a model for significant characters in Swallows and Amazons.[7]

Accident[edit]

In 1967, Donald Campbell died near Peel Island while trying to set a world water speed record with a speed in excess of 300 miles per hour (480 km/h).[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend. 1890. p. 513. 
  2. ^ a b c Artingstoll, Belinda (2006-08-07). "The islands of Coniston". BBC. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Holman, Tom; Davies, Hunter (2008). The Good Guide to the Lakes. Frances Lincoln Publishers. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-7112-2861-0. 
  4. ^ "Further gift of land to the national trust". The Times. 1935-05-22. 
  5. ^ Wilmers, Mary-Kay (1991-02-24). "Once in Aleppo". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Hardyment, Christina (1984). Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk. Cape. pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-224-02989-4. 
  7. ^ Brogan, Hugh (1984). The Life of Arthur Ransome. London: Cape. pp. 4; 44; 311. ISBN 0-224-02010-2. 
  8. ^ Clements, Derek (2007-12-16). "Caught in time: Water speed record bid ends in tragedy, 1967". The Times. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 

Coordinates: 54°19′01″N 3°05′07″W / 54.31690°N 3.08526°W / 54.31690; -3.08526