Great Langdale, a lovely dale largely under the vigilant eye of the National Trust, holds in its embrace several imposing farms, an establishment of refreshment known as the New Dungeon Ghyll, and a haven for weary travellers in the form of the campsite.
These riches, it is worth noting, were bestowed upon the Trust by the munificent George Macaulay Trevelyan back in 1928, and they hold this noble benefactor in high regard. Inspirational quotations from the renowned historian himself grace the walls and information boards that adorn the Trust’s possessions throughout the dale.
Yet, when one seeks to delve into the annals of Trevelyan’s own lineage, the information boards remain decidedly reticent. It is a curious and somewhat disquieting tale, one that ought not to be relegated to obscurity.
The venerable Reverend John Trevelyan (1735–1828), the 4th Baronet of Nettlecombe and the owner of Wallington Hall, played a central role in this saga. Through his union with Luisa Marianne Simond, he found himself the proprietor of seven sugar plantations nestled in the distant realm of Grenada. As history unfolded, their descendants reaped substantial reparations when slavery met its end in 1837, sharing a princely sum of £27,000 for their ownership of 1,004 enslaved individuals1Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery. Page 39. © National Trust, September 2020 .
This chapter of history serves as a stark reminder that there are few facets of contemporary society untouched by the wealth generated through the toils of slavery.
Mickleden is one of the two main feeder dales of Great Langdale. It is the realm of Stool End Farm, one of those holdings graciously gifted by the hand of Trevelyan himself.
- 1Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery. Page 39. © National Trust, September 2020