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Elterwater Bridge.jpg
Elterwater bridge
Grid reference: NY327048
Location: 54°26’5"N, 3°2’17"W
Postcode: LA22
Dialling code: 015394
Local Government
Council: Westmorland & Furness

Elterwater is a village in Westmorland, lying half a mile northwest of the lake of Elter Water, from which it derives its name, which lake marks the northernmost end of Lancashire. Both are situated in the valley of Great Langdale.[1]

In the past, the principal industries have been farming and quarrying, with evidence of both still very visible. In the present day, tourism is the principal source of income.

John Ruskin attempted to set up a lace making industry here and artist Kurt Schwitters was a resident of nearby Chapel Stile, where one of his Merzbarn project was created.

Only a quarter of the houses in Elterwater are permanently occupied, the rest being holiday cottages.

The village has a King George V Playing Field.


The name "Elterwater" is from the lake, and that lake's name in turn may mean "Swans' Water" (Old Norse elptar vatn) or "Alder Water". Whooper swans still winter on the lake" [2].(ON is Old Norse).

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Elterwater)


  1. Parker, 2004, page 37
  2. Whaley, Diana (2006). A dictionary of Lake District place-names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society. pp. lx,423 p.108-109. ISBN 0904889726. 


  • Parker, John Wilson (2004). An Atlas of the English Lakes. Cicerone Press. ISBN 1-85284-355-1.