Businesses in Great Asby Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Great Asby

Great Asby St Helens well courtesy Geoff RichardsonGreat Asbys name is thought to come from the Norse words askr (ash) and by (farm). The village lies in wooded lowland across a gill. One hundred years ago it was a thriving village, home to many shops and trades, but now it mainly serves the local farming community.

Great Asby has a long village green with a church, St Peters, sitting in it. A church was first built on the green c1160, but due to its condition was demolished and a new gray stone one built in 1863-66. It has a two bell tower. Near the church is St Helens well, reputed to have healing waters.

Great Asby St Peters church for web courtesy Geoff Richardson Lady Anne Clifford gave a door lock to the rectory in 1670. It was a habit of hers to give door locks as a thank-you, and this one was the result of her staying in the rectory during a storm. One wing of the rectory was originally a 14th century pele tower. One east window remains from that time. Asby Hall once stood on the site and belonged to the monks of Byland abbey.

Great Asby Asby Beck for web courtesy Geoff Richardson The village is home to a group of almshouses dating from 1811. Asby Beck was the site of an early 15th century two storey hall. It had a parapet, rampart walk, and circular turret. Asby Grange lay further up the valley, and a stone over the door dated it to 1694.

West of the village is Asby Gill where Pate Hole can be found. The cave is about 1000 yards deep. Prehistoric sites are on the nearby moors. Some are from the iron age. Hut circles are located on Great Asby Scar south-west of the village. Great Asby Scar is a National Nature Reserve, and Little Asby Inrakes and Outrakes is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Asby Gill for web courtesy Geoff RichardsonThe area is replete with limestone pavement, and the remains of limestone kilns can be seen. In the limestone fissures are plants among which are dogs mercury, limestone fern, wood anemone, and bloody cranesbill. Trees include hazel, ash, and small hawthorn.

Photos courtesy of Geoff Richardson

Great Asby is located on a minor road, south of Appleby-in-Westmorland and east of the B6260.

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