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The lake has two separate basins – north and south – with different characteristics influenced by the geology.This consists of hard volcanic rocks in the north basin and softer shales in the south.It was formed 13,000 years ago during the last major ice age by two glaciers, one from the Troutbeck valley and the other from the Fairfield Horseshoe.
The name Windermere or Windermer was used of the parish that had clearly taken its name from the water.The poet Norman Nicholson comments on the use of the phrase 'Lake Windermere': "a certain excuse for the tautology can be made in the case of Windermere, since we need to differentiate between the lake and the town, though it would be better to speak of 'Windermere Lake' and Windermere Town', but no one can excuse such ridiculous clumsiness as 'Lake Derwentwater' and 'Lake Ullswater." The extensive parish included most of Undermilnbeck (that is, excepting Winster and the part of Crook chapelry that lay west of the Gilpin, which were part of Kirkby Kendal parish), Applethwaite, Troutbeck and Ambleside-below-Stock, that is, the part of Ambleside that lay south of Stock Beck. Windermere is long and narrow, like many other ribbon lakes.It is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period.It has been one of the country's most popular places for holidays and summer homes since the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway's branch line in 1847.
Historically forming part of the border between Lancashire and Westmorland, it is now within the county of Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.The word 'Windermere' is thought to translate as " 'Winand or Vinand's lake'...