W3C Sounds on a Hunting Morn MEMORIES

Swarthbeck Ghyll
Swarthbeck Ghyll © Ann Bowker, Mad About Mountains

To a huntsman or follower in Lakeland the sound of hounds was of great importance, as was to know the weather next day. The terrain, aided by for example mist, meant on many occasions the field had no idea where the hunt was and an expression frequently heard was 'can t ere owt?' (can you hear anything?)

In Reminiscences Of Joe Bowman by W C Skelton (reprint 1980) the predictive properties of the sound of the Swarth Beck are discussed!

I quote ...

'Swarth Beck and its numerous cascades used to serve a curious purpose for hunters. The sound of the falls was considerable and could be heard a distance of two miles, reverberating from rock to rock.

These sounds were the barometer of the neighbourhood. Tradition handed down from father to son formed a set of rules by which the farmer or hunter was enabled to predict with tolerable certainty the weather of the day from the sound of these cascades emitted the previous evening.'

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