Businesses in Greystoke Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Greystoke

(See also Greystoke Castle)

Greystoke cottages courtesy of Graeme DougalGreystoke, a village on the outskirts of the Lake District National Park, retains its village green with its ancient market cross that dates back at least to the early 1600's.

Clustered around the green 17th century stone houses and cottages are decorated with slate roofs and cobbled forecourts. A school dates to 1838. A pub, the Boot and Shoe, looks over the green.

Greystoke pub courtesy of Graeme Dougal The foundation of the church of St Andrew dates back to the mid-1200's. The present day collegiate church, built in the Perpendicular style, was financed by the 14th Baron of Greystoke Castle and was completed over a number of years starting in 1382 and finishing in the 15th century. The massive tower still houses the bells of that century.

Greystoke St Andrews Church 1255 courtesy of Graeme Dougal The Baron added three chapels to each side of the church to provide space for a college for canons. The walls were removed after the Reformation; thus the interior is the size of a cathedral. Inside are medieval and Victorian stained glass windows (including one by Charles Kempe), alabaster effigies of knights, a 14th century oak table, and misericords in the choir stalls.

Greystoke St Andrews Church 1255 courtesy of Graeme DougalOn Church Road is the Sanctuary Stone. This stone relates to the time when fugitives from justice were granted sanctuary upon reaching a church and claiming the right. The stone once lay in the church precincts. Another village stone is named Spillers and is thought to be a plague stone. The custom was for plague victims to leave coins in its hollowed-out top, which was filled with vinegar to protect the healthy people, who then left food for the sick.

Greystoke Castle courtesy of Graeme DougalGreystoke Castle, the seat of the Howard family from the 1500's, was an integral part of village life. The first stone building to occupy the site was constructed in 1129 and served as protection against raids from the Scottish. It was crenellated in the 1300's. Cromwell destroyed much of it. A devastating fire in 1868 laid waste to the restored castle. Only the medieval pele tower and a few Georgian interiors survived.

Greystoke school courtesy of Graeme Dougal The present building, in the Elizabethan style, dates from the 19th century and was designed by Anthony Salvin. The castle stands in a great wooded park of 3000 acres. The grounds contain three well known folly farmholds: Bunker's Hill, Fort Putnam, and Spire House. The first two were built to look like fortresses and the last like a church.

In the countryside nearby are a number of pele towers, notably Blencow Hall (a date on the door reads 1590), Greenthwaite Hall, and Johnby Hall. All are reminders of the unsettled times of the Border Reivers.

Greystoke Blencow Hall Steve Bulman courtesy of Graeme DougalThe Romans built a road that ran from Penrith through Greystoke on its way to Troutbeck. Greystoke's name means ‘place by the River Creik’, a small stream nearby. The River Petteril, not far away, is more noticeable. The village was known as Creistock in 1167. By any name, it is an interesting mix of historical attractions.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal , SteveBulman

Greystoke is located 5 miles west of Penrith on the B5288.

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