John Grisdale of Stool End Farm, Great Langdale

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Lake District, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Stool End is a sheep farm in the bleak but spectacular valley of Great Langdale in Westmorland. It is much beloved as the subject of photography by the walkers in the Lake District. It was and is a mountain sheep farm. Throughout the third quarter of the nineteenth century the farmer at Stool End was John Grisdale.

Stool End Farm, Great Langdale

Stool End Farm, Great Langdale

Grasmere Church

Grasmere Church

John was the second child of the farmer Joseph Grisdale I wrote about recently (see here). He was baptized in St. Oswald’s church in Grasmere where in the adjoining Dove Cottage William and Dorothy Wordsworth were living at that time. He spent his early years on a farm somewhere in Grasmere/Langland and then in Staveley near Kendal, but in about 1824 when John was sixteen the family came back to become tenants at Orrest Head farm near Windermere, where John would have helped his father Joseph.

John married Ann Airey in Windermere church on 6 June 1831. Now he had to establish himself as a farmer, which like his father involved several moves while his seven children were being born. First they farmed Black Moss farm just outside Windermere before moving for a very short period to the east of Kendal, to Old Hutton where they had a small farm at Eskrigg End.

Then probably in the summer of 1851  the family made its way back to near where it started and became the farmers at Stool End Farm in Langdale. Here in 1851 their seventh (surviving) child, Jeremiah, was born; he was baptized in Langdale’s Holy Trinity church on 29 June.

The family remained the tenants at Stool End for over twenty years. Sometime in the 1870s John finished his hard life as a mountain sheep farmer and retired with his wife and their son John to a former smithy called Winterseeds, just north of the village of Grasmere. Ann died in 1880 and John in 1884 aged seventy-eight.

Here are some more pictures:

Winterseeds Grasmere

Winterseeds Grasmere


stool end map 3

Map showing Stool End (bottom)


looking across stool end

Stool End in the distance


stool end 7

Stool End



langdale 4



Great Langdale

Great Langdale

Langdale Holy Trinity 1857 built

Langdale Holy Trinity built in 1857

little eskrigg end farm

Little Eskrigg End farm, Old Hutton

great langdale

Great Langdale


stool end new 2

Stool End


stool end new

Stool End


stool end langdale

Stool End



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s