|Looking towards Kent Estuary from Grange-over-Sands|
|River Kent at Hawes Bridge|
From Kendal the river continues back to Staveley and the Kentmere Valley. Things may look picturesque between here and the source of the river, but don't be fooled, the history of this area is dominated by industry and mining. There were paper mills, bobbin mills, lead mining and slate quarrying, all of which put demands on the river, but it was a combination of agriculture and the asbestos industry that threw up one of Kentmere's most intriguing secrets.
What is now Kentmere Tarn was once a Diatomite mine supplying the asbestos industry (sorry, but you'll have to read our book for all the details - it's out in October :-) ) and as they were excavating they made a number of interesting finds. Initially they came across a number of Roman artefacts, but as they dug deeper they found something far more interesting.
In 1955 a dugout boat was discovered which was displayed for many years by the National Maritime Museum and was carbon dated to the 14th Century. Four years later, in 1959, another dugout was discovered, significantly deeper in the deposits. Its location in relation to the previous find, plus its more simplistic design indicate it could be significantly older, possibly even Viking - which would make it an incredibly exciting find - but it needs to be carbon dated before we'll know for sure.
You can go and take a close look at this second dugout as it's on display at Kendal Museum. While you're there you can also admire the many other wonderful exhibits on display and see if you spot some famous handwriting. For nearly 30 years Wainwright was Honorary Clerk and Curator at the museum and many exhibits still carry labels written in his distinctive style.
Kendal Museum have been incredibly helpful to us as we've researched our book and by way of saying thank you we're trying to raise £350 to allow them to get the second dugout boat carbon dated. We need to raise the whole amount by 5th July and we're well over halfway there BUT if we don't reach our target we lose every penny that has so far been pledged,
EDIT - WE MADE IT! HUGE thanks to everyone who donated - watch this space for news of the dating!
Please can you spare just a few pounds to help us reach our target - We thank you, Kendal Museum thank you and, if he were still around, I'm pretty sure Wainwright would thank you too!
Pretty, pretty, PRETTY please CLICK HERE to donate - Thank you!