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Lake District Towns and Villages

Ireby in the Lake District National Park

Ireby, situated a few miles north of Bassenthwaite, was once an important market, its charter dating back to the 13th century and at one time rivalled Cockermouth. The main village consists of a string of houses along the road, two pubs, the Sun and the Black Lion, and a post office. No markets are held now but market cross remains, opposite the Black Lion Hotel.

The village is surrounded by rolling hillside but most of the old farmsteads as well as the old moot hall are now private houses.

Standing on the road to Uldale, another traditional lakeland village with literary connections, is an old whitewashed fell church, dedicated to St James and dating back to 1730, probably on the site of a much older one. Only the chancel remains but the Ecclesiastical Commission have carried out extensive repairs on it. It was superseded by a new parish church built a mile away in 1847.

The Northern Fells Gallery and Tea room in Uldale is worth a visit, for it displays a collection of north cumbrian work, mainly in photography, jewellery, copperware, ceramics, and knitwear. A mile or so south of the village lies tiny Over Water, the northernmost splash of water in the Lake District, with the farms of Orthwaite beyond. An interestingly named fell, Great Cockup, is an easy easy two mile walk from there.




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