From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°25′30″N 3°21′00″W / 54.425°N 3.350°W / 54.425; -3.350

Wasdale (/ˈwɒzdl/; traditionally /ˈwɒsəl, ˈwɒʃdəl/)[1] is a valley and civil parish in the western part of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. The River Irt flows through the valley to its estuary at Ravenglass. A large part of the main valley floor is occupied by Wastwater, the deepest lake in England (258 feet or 79 metres). The population of Wasdale was only minimal and, from the 2011 Census is included in the parish of Gosforth.

Geographical features[edit]

Panorama of the Wasdale screes, Illgill Head in the centre, Whin Rigg on the right.

On the south-eastern side of the lake are very steep screes below the summits of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head which are more accessible on the far side. The head of the valley is dominated by the Great Gable and Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, which, along with Scafell, Kirk Fell and Yewbarrow, surround the small community of Wasdale Head. Wasdale is famous amongst rock climbers as the home of British rock climbing. A classic route is Nape's Needle on Great Gable.


At the hamlet of Wasdale Head is St Olaf's Church, one of the smallest churches in England.

Further down the valley are the villages of Strands and Gosforth.[citation needed]


Clockwise from the north-west:-

Sty Head Pass


The name came from Old Norse Vatnsdalr = "valley of the water". The alternative spelling "Wastdale" existed through much of the nineteenth century.[2][3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dickins, Bruce (1950). The Place-names of Cumberland. The University Press. p. 390.
  2. ^ British Newspaper Archive - a search achieves numerous hits
  3. ^ Martineau, Harriet; Banks, William; Aspland, Theophil Lindsey; Ruthven, John (1855). A complete guide to the English lakes. Harold B. Lee Library. Windermere : John Garnett ; London : Whittaker and Co.

External links[edit]