With a backdrop of woodlands and high fells, England’s largest natural lake, Windermere, really does look the part as home to Bownessie, the Lake District’s home grown monster of the deep. Mist hovers over and sometimes obscures the Lake, so that it looks as mystical as the home of its Scottish compatriot in Loch Ness. Can a monster really be living in the waters of Windermere?
Of course the stories, like all good fairy tales should, have taken root in many an imagination of the species, homo sapiens. We can even find reports of Bownessie, including photographs of this spectacular beast. On 11th September, Martin Bagot of The Mirror filed a report, entitled ‘Is this the Loch Ness monster? Creature photographed in lake – 150 miles from home’. (www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news)
Earlier this year on 30th January, our local paper, The Westmorland Gazette, published the story, ‘Bownessie mystery deepens after scientist reports lake ‘encounter’. According to the article, ‘The first reported sighting of Bownessie was in 2006 when journalism lecturer Steve Burnip described seeing a 30ft snake-like beast with humps from the shores of Wray Castle.’ (www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/10972028.)
Is Bownessie a figment of the imagination? Well, the cynical might think that this beastie has been concocted for the benefit of camera-toting tourists. As for me, I think it is a bit of fun. I remember going to Loch Ness, boarding a boat and keeping my eyes peeled for the Loch Ness Monster. There is something so grand and yet so unlikely about such creatures that I often think it really would be something else indeed to meet these leviathans of the deep – at a safe distance, of course, just in case they are unfriendly!
I’ll leave you with a final photo of the supposed Bownessie. This one was snapped by Colin Honour, a vicar who now live in Heversham, and the report was published by The Westmorland Gazette in February 2014.
Perhaps you could look out for Bownessie yourself. Stay with us and gaze earnestly out of one of our Lake-facing rooms to Windermere. Keep looking and don’t blink – just in case you miss it! Can you see the big beastie?
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’