|Businesses in Yanwath||Towns and Villages of Cumbria|
(See also Laburnum Ceramics)
Beside the River Eamont is Yanwath. Its name means ‘the flat or level woodland.’
A house in the village, the Grotto, was home to Thomas Wilkinson, who was a friend of William Wordsworth. Wilkinson, a Quaker, had varied talents including those of a poet and landscape gardener. Wordsworth wrote about his experiences working in Wilkinson's garden and called it ‘Composed while we were labouring together in his pleasure-ground’. He went so far as to write a poem to the spade he was using:
“SPADE! with which Wilkinson hath tilled his lands,
And shaped these pleasant walks by Emont's side,
Thou art a tool of honour in my hands;
I press thee, through the yielding soil, with pride. . .”
A 17th century village inn with beamed ceilings and a stone inglenook fireplace serves, among other beers, Hesket Newmarket Skiddaw Special and Scottish Courage. Yanwath is home to Laburnum Ceramics.
Yanwath Hall, a 14th century, partly fortified house (now a farm) survives with few alterations after the 16th century. There are three ranges of buildings. The south range was built in the 14th and 15th centuries and has a battlemented tower measuring 39 feet by 30.5 feet in size with 5-foot thick walls.
Stairs lead to each level where a chamber is located. The second level has a latrine, fireplace with Elizabeth I's arms above it, and a plaster ceiling. The 14th century basement is vaulted. This range is also the location of a great hall and a kitchen. The kitchen was partly rebuilt in later centuries, but a 15th century fireplace survived.
The Threlkeld family acquired the hall at the end of the 14th century and added a bay window on the hall's south side. The Dudley family added, in the 16th century, larger windows in the upper chambers of the tower and divided the great hall horizontally.
The north range was the last to be added and contains the stables and courtyard entrance. In 1654 the Lowther family became owners of the property, using it as a farmhouse. The house was described as having “the grace of a little castle.”
Yanwath Hall is not open to the public but can be partially viewed from the road and footpaths. The tower is in care of English Heritage.
Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal
Yanwath is 2 miles southwest of Penrith on the B5320.
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