Whether here was the end or the beginning of the quarrymen's work may never be known, but the farther, or western side of the rock is rent and torn by their blasts, while the eastern and southern are the natural slope.
As one walks along it is simply a woodland vista that he sees.
A few steps farther and the massive head begins to assume shape; a little farther and the forehead and eyebrows appear, then the jagged rock, wind-swept, storm-beaten and sun-kissed for long years, present the aquiline nose and firmly set chin of the Old Man of the Fells in his impressive pose.
A dignified and restful one it is, too, as he looks northward into the solitude and quiet of his domain, and seems like a watchful guardian of a sylvan shrine.
The Old Man is seen at his best by those who take a winter walk when snow has spread a mantle of ermine over his shoulders and white robes all about him. Then the sharp contrast of his rocky profile is all the more prominent, and under such conditions was our view secured.
A summer visit may be more comfortable to make, but will lack these features.
It will have the compensation, however, of bird songs, and the glinting sunlight as it plays through the quivering foliage will lovingly caress his devoted head, no longer with gray locks but many years young.
Unlike most of such weird rock sculpture, the Old Man may be viewed almost as well from the opposite direction, but at a greater distance.
A year since the writer walked thither from the Lawrence
tower in company with a Western prairie-born lady.
To her the wild, rugged scenery of the Fells was something new. As we walked over the height of Quarry road he remarked, ‘I'm going to introduce one of my friends to you,’ and she replied,‘Oh, yes!
I can see him.’
And sure enough, much to his surprise, he saw for the first time from that direction the placid face of the Old Man of the Fells peering out between the trees and keeping his lonely vigil.