WINDERHERE, the largest lake in England, in the southeastern part of the Lake District (q.v.). It is in the county of Westmorland, the boundary with Lancashire running from the head southward along the western shore, round the foot and northward along about one-third of the eastern shore.
It forms a narrow trough with a slightly curved axis of The width at right angles to the axis never reaches i m. The area is 5-69 sq. m. The shores are generally steep, beautifully wooded and fretted with numerous little sheltered bays. The hills immediately surrounding the lake rarely reach 1000 ft., but the distant views of the mountains to the north and west contrast finely with the sylvan beauty of the lake itself. The middle of the lake, immediately opposite Bowness, is especially beautiful, for here a group of islands (Belle Isle, Thompson's Holme, the Lilies and others) divide the lake into two basins, the water about them seldom exceeding 50 ft. in depth. On the other hand, the greatest depth sounded in the northern basin is 219 ft., and in the southern 134. The lake receives the Rothay and Brathay streams at the head; Trout Beck also flows into the north basin, and Cunsey Beck from Esthwaite into the south. The lake is drained by the Leven. Steamers belonging to the Furness Railway Company ply regularly on Windermere, the chief stations being Lakeside, the terminus of a branch railway, beautifully situated at the foot, Ferry on the west shore below the islands, Bowness on the east and Waterhead, at the head, for Ambleside. The lake contains perch, pike, trout and char; there are several large hotels at Bowness and elsewhere on its shores.
The town of WINDERMERE, above the eastern shore adjacent to Bowness (q.v.), is in the Appleby parliamentary division of Westmorland, and is the terminus of a branch of the London and North- Western railway from Oxenholme junction. Numerous mansions and villas have grown up in the vicinity. Here, from Orrest Head, in the grounds of Elleray, where lived Professor Wilson (Christopher North), superb views over the whole lake and its surroundings are obtained. In 1905 Bowness and Windermere were united as a single urban district.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)