with Horse and Hound

The Mardale Hunt

black.ron.portraitAuthor Ron Black...In the north-eastern corner of the English Lake District there is a valley known as Mardale. This secluded valley contains a lake, under which rest the remains of a submerged village. The occupants of the village were shepherds who tended the local sheep high on the unforgiving fells surrounding the valley. Once a year they would meet to exchange strayed sheep, and from these humble beginnings The Mardale Shepherds Meet—best-known of all the meets of the Lakeland Fell foxhound packs—began.

It is often said that the origin of the meet is “older than the memory of man.” The introduction of the Ullswater Foxhounds increased the popularity of the meet, which soon attracted a much larger following than just the local shepherds. In the evening a public house called The Dun Bull was the venue for song and laughter. In time, The Mardale Shepherds Meet achieved worldwide fame.

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