THE FUTURE OF SHAP FELLS.
The Kendal Mercury contains an article descriptive of the changes that
have taken place on Shap Fells since the old coaching days, and containing
some prognostications of the future in store for Shap and the Fells.
After describing the desolate drive that used to be in store for
travellers in passing over the snow covered mountains, the Mercury passes on to
describe a visit the writer made to the granite quarries established where once
desolation reigned supreme.
At one quarry near Wastdale Head there are a hundred quarrymen
employed in simply getting and rough dressing the granite, and a tramway will soon
be substituted for the waggons at present engaged in conveying it to the works.
The writer describes the method of splitting and polishing the stone, the
polishing being generally done by machinery. The polish given to the granite is
brilliant and permanent, and its rich colour fits it admirably for internal
decoration, and even small pieces have been polished and set for ladies
How far the works will be enlarged, says the Mercury, must depend upon
the cost at which the articles manufactured can be supplied, but if the cost
be moderate the merit of the granite must ensure a good demand. The new trade
seems likely to import a population, who, if sober and orderly, will be
welcomed for their good conduct as well as the wages they will spend.
With regard to Shap moor, lambs are now fed where grouse used to be
reared, a change effected by the Earl of LONSDALE's extensive drainage; and the
writer does not despair of yet seeing gardens round the cottages of the
workmen at the quarries, the cabbages and potatoes of which are to be eaten with the
mutton fed on the healthy and profitable pasture land converted from moor by
enterprise, money and skill.