River Greta, Cumbria
River Greta in Fitz Park, Keswick
|Mouth||River Derwent, Cumbria|
The River Greta is a river in Cumbria, England. It is a tributary of the River Derwent and flows through the town of Keswick. "Greta" derives from the Old Norse "Griótá", meaning "stony stream". The name is in records dating from the early 13th century, and also appears in Latinised form, as "Gretagila", at the time of Magna Carta.
The source of the river is near Threlkeld, at the confluence of the River Glenderamackin and St. John's Beck. From there, the river runs westward, roughly aligned with the former Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway between Keswick and Penrith. The river subsequently flows through Keswick before joining the Derwent just after the latter flows out of Derwentwater. The medieval bridge over the river in Keswick was unusual in having two arches; on the great coach road from Kendal to Cockermouth all but two of the other bridges (Troutbeck and Portinscale) crossed their rivers in a single span. The current Greta Bridge in Keswick is another two-arch structure, built in 1926.
- Wordsworth’s sonnet ‘To the River Greta, near Keswick’, was written in 1823.
- Coleridge, referring to the sound of the boulders in the (19th C) stream, claimed that its name “literally rendered in modern English is ‘The Loud Lamenter’ - to Griet in the Cumbrian Dialect signifying to roar aloud for grief or pain –: and it does ‘’roar’’ with a vengeance!”.
- Ekwall, p. 205
- Jenkinson, pp. 131, 183 and 189
- Thompson, pp. 347–348
- G Lindop, A Literary Guide to the Lake District (London 1993) p. 176
- Ekwall, Eilert (1960). Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198691033.
- Jenkinson, Henry Irwin (1879). Practical Guide to the English Lake District. London: E Stanford. OCLC 19717012.
- Thompson, Bruce L (1969). "Portinscale Bridge". Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, New Series, Volume 69. Kendal: CWAAS.
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