|Businesses in Rockcliffe||Towns and Villages of Cumbria|
(See also Rockcliffe Marsh Nature Reserve)
Rockcliffe is located on a cliff above the river Eden near the Solway Firth. Its name derives from Ravenswick, which means a place near the banks of Raven beck. Both the Eden and the Esk rivers make their way through the area to the firth. The nearness of the village to Scotland enabled smugglers to convey whisky and salt from Scotland across to Cumbria. Because of its location, Rockcliffe was once important for shipbuilding and was used as a port.
The church of St Mary was built during Queen Victorias reign in 1848. In 1881 a south porch-tower was added. The church has several stained glass windows. In the churchyard is a Saxon cross with a wheel-head, raised banks, and dragons. A medieval grave slab has also stood the test of time.
Rockcliffe castle used to guard the village against raids by the Scots, but it was demolished in 1730, and a new house was built on the location. The castle, thought to date from the beginning of the 1500s, was owned by the Dacres and later by Anne, Countess of Arundel. The castle foundations and a courtyard pavement were uncovered in 1901 during roadworks.
Rockcliffe Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest under the care of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is thought to be the largest saltmarsh in Cumbria.
Access to Rockcliffe Marsh is limited. Permits are issued by the Castletown Estate, Castletown, Rockcliffe, Carlisle.
Rockcliffe is located on a minor road four miles north-west of Carlisle, off the A74.
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