Lake District landscapes have inspired artists for centuries, from Beatrix Potter to Taylor Swift, and now it seems another has been stirred by the views after a number of stone artworks appeared in the area, courtesy of an unknown artist whom locals are referring to as the “Borrowdale Banksy”.
Two structures have been photographed so far, one on Castle Crag and another a three-hour walk east on Raven Crag. According to the local village hall there is one more on Dalehead, but no one had managed to photograph it at the time of writing.
The Borrowdale Institute said the structures appeared to be the work of a “very talented [and] patient individual”. Locals have compared the artist to Banksy because their identity is unclear.
Nigel Dixon, a trustee of the institute, said: “We just shared these photos because we were interested to find out who had done them, the photos weren’t taken by us. I wasn’t expecting the response that’s it’s getting, we’ve gained over 300 followers in the last 24 hours. We’re no closer to solving the mystery but if you do know the mysterious artist, get in touch.”
Carl Halliday, 50, a photographer who operates a mountaineering business in the area, first spotted the circular formation at the beginning of May. He told the PA news agency: “I usually have mixed feelings about manmade structures like this in a natural setting; as climbers, we practise a minimal-impact approach. But I have to say that this was different. It seemed sensitive to the existing environment and complemented the already stunning views.
“It seemed to be constructed from local slate and, after all, the fells aren’t completely natural, with dry stone walls stretching for miles.”
He said he was impressed with the way the structure blended with its surroundings “despite being a new and manmade piece of art”.
The professional mountaineering instructor added: “Because it’s located high on a mountain crag, I’ve purposely been a little vague with people about its exact location. Although it would be possible to access it from above, and without climbing the long rock route that we climbed first, I wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for encouraging walkers and general visitors to seek it out.
“The steep ground around the stone circle, even if not climbing up to it, is technical, and for non-mountaineers it wouldn’t be appropriate.”
Since then a number of walkers have shared images of the structures online, including Rob Brown who said he stumbled upon the “very impressive” arch while out with his dog.
A spokesperson for the Lake District National Park Authority said: “We’re aware of these new additions to the fells. While the artist responsible remains a mystery to us, we know that our spectacular landscapes have inspired people for hundreds of years. The Lake District has even been inscribed as a world heritage site due to its evolving, cultural landscape.”