Helton Tarn

Type; Natural
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Location; near Witherslack
Accessibility; Private, but can be seen from surrounding roads
Grid Ref; SD 419 849
Elevation; 4 m (13 feet)
Size; 175m x 97m (568 x 320 feet)
Area; 1.4 hectares (3.4 acres)
Depth; unknown
Meaning of name;  
Alternative name(s);


Helton Tarn is a swelling of the River Winster, near Witherslack. It is on agricultural land so direct access is not possible, however it may be observed from roads nearby.

Legend has it that Helton Tarn is where the very first iron boat was sunk. In the 18th century, John Wilkinson of Lindale proposed to use peat from Lindale Moss to smelt the haematite ore from the Furness mines. He is believed to have built several experimental boats in iron for transporting the peat, the first of which supposedly sank in Helton Tarn. No evidence of either the boat's existence or the sinking has been found, however.