Ambleside - from Romans to Romanticsm

The Romans in AD 90 were probably Ambleside's first visitors and they lurved it so much near the northern edge of  Windermere lake, at Waterhead,  that they built a fort and stayed for nearly 400 years....! Next came the Vikings who arrived 500 years later and decided to give the settlement the name of their Chief Amel who had his summer pasture (sate) there making the words Amelsate - become Ambleside. In 1100 the Normans came to have a look and decided to carve up the Lake District into vast and wealthy monastic settlements, transforming its rough acres into productive grazing land for sheep - from which came the prosperous woolen industry and centuries of economic stability. Ambleside was ideal for waterpowered millwheels (the river Stock being and ideal contributer). Even the woods nearby were a plentiful supply of charcoal to be used to smelt iron and gunpowder for all varied wars that Britain entered willingly or not...... Many years passed and due to the French Revolution the 'well to do' found it difficult to travel abroad so they turned their interests "Up North" and came to visit the Lake District and became totally inspired by the dramatic scenery. These people were the Romantics (Wordsworth, Ruskin, Coleridge, De Quincey, Harriet Martineau and Arthur Ransome.....to name just a few).  But for lovers of the Lake District and keeping it special for everyone the philanthropist and painter/storyteller extraordinaire along came a young child - Beatrix Potter who stayed at Wray Castle with her family - looking over towards Ambleside from the west bank of lake Windermere, who in her wisdom and care, chose in later years to invest in the local people by purchasing farms and land to work, which she bestowed to the British people after her death to enjoy for their lives too! The surrounding area of Ambleside is a must for anyone with a heart and soul..................