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Brotherswater from High Hartsop Dodd

Brotherswater or Brothers Water is a modest lake in the Hartsop valley of Westmorland. It was once called "Broad Water".

The lake lies high up, at the northern end of Kirkstone Pass, affording picturesque views on the dramatic descent towards Patterdale. Brothers Water may thus be classified in either of two ways: as one of the Lake District's smallest lakes or one of its largest tarns.

Dorothy Wordsworth, having left William sitting on Cow Bridge, walked beside the lake on 16 April 1802, delighted with:

‘...the boughs of the bare old trees, the simplicity of the mountains, and the exquisite beauty of the path...the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be seen on them.’

The lake is not among the most popular of the National Park, being shallow and full of reeds. Water lilies bloom in July, providing colour.

The name "Broad Water" (a common name for lakes) was changed in the 19th century to "Brothers Water" after two brothers drowned there.

To the northeast of Brothers Water is the village of Hartsop, which has several 17th-century stone farm buildings and cottages. Some of the buildings still contain spinning rooms where villagers would have made their own clothing, selling any surplus in the local market towns. The word Hartsop means "valley of the harts" after the deer of the woodlands of the lower areas of the surrounding fells.

Brothers Water from the north

A walk through woodland skirts the western shore. From its northern end the walk leads to Patterdale. Southward it heads over Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside.

On the western side of Brothers Water is Hartsop Hall. The 16th-century building passed to Sir John Lowther in the 17th century. The village of Hartsop lies near the northeast corner of the lake.

The lake has a population of trout and harbours a rare species of fish, the schelly.

Outside links

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about Brotherswater)