• Wainwright was born into
poverty in the Lancashire town
of Blackburn in 1907.
• The son of a stonemason, he
left school when he was 13
and became an office boy in
Blackburn Borough Engineer's
• At the age of 23 he managed a
holiday away from home, to
the Lake District.
• It was love at first sight.
• In his book “Fellwanderer”
Wainwright described his first
• "I was utterly enslaved by all
I saw. Here were no huge
factories, but mountains; no
stagnant canals, but sparkling
crystal-clear rivers; no
cinder paths, but beckoning
tracks that clamber through
bracken and heather to the
silent fastnesses of the hills.
That week changed my life."
• He qualified as an accountant and
moved to Kendal in 1941, rising to
become Borough Treasurer seven
years later. He spent every spare
moment walking the fells that he
loved so deeply.
• In 1941 he was appointed to a
position in the Borough Treasurer’s
Office in Kendal. He started doing
pen and ink drawings of the fells.
He started exploring and drawing
and made a start on what was to
become his Pictorial Guide to the
Wainwright’s Pictoral Guides to the
The Pictorial Guides were and are still distinctive.
Fearing that printers would misspell words, his
handwritten work was reproduced directly on to the
page; the Westmorland Gazette of Kendal published
• The first Pictorial Guide to the
Lakeland Fells was published
in 1955 and in his introduction
• ‘This book is one man’s way of
expressing his devotion to
Lakeland’s friendly hills. It
was conceived, and is born,
after many years of
inarticulate worshipping at
their shrines. It is, in very
truth, a love-letter.’
• He spent 13 years compiling
the seven Pictorial Guides to
the Lakeland Fells, tramping
the fells in all weathers at
weekends, with raincoat, map
• Most of his fine, individual
drawings were taken from his