|Businesses in Warcop||Towns and Villages of Cumbria|
Warcop lies on the east side of the River Eden where two rivulets converge. The name of the area was, in ancient times, Warthecoppe or Wardecop. A ‘coppe’ means the ‘top of a hill’.
A manor house, Warcop Tower, was sited overlooking the village.
The Warcop family held the manor in the area from the time of King John, but over the centuries it passed to a number of other families.
A 16th century bridge over the River Eden links Warcop with the tiny village of Bleatarn on the western side of the river. Byland Abbey once owned the manor at Bleatarn. Red sandstone buildings surround Warcop's green, decorated with a maypole.
On St Peter's Day, June 29, Warcop, like other nearby Eden Valley villages, participates in an ancient Rush Bearing ceremony. A procession of children bearing rushes leaves the village reading room and makes its way to the church of St Columba, built on an ancient Roman campsite.
The ceremony recreates the practice of placing clean rushes on the earthen floor of churches before the custom of flagging the floors came into practice. Floors of churches were left as dirt, being handy places for burials.
The 12th century Norman church of red sandstone has, like most churches, seen additions and restorations over the centuries. It's a cruciform church with a south aisle and transept. Inside are 18th century box pews, 15th century roof beams, a 17th century porch, old carved coffin lids, and a 13th century piscina. Stained glass windows are by various artists. A former tower housed bells. At one time the church was the property of Shap Abbey.
A Methodist Chapel was built in the village in 1844 and a Temperance Hall in 1865. A railway line ran to Warcop from Appleby but, no longer used, is derelict. A pub and a village store complete the picture.
In recent times the children of the village school helped with a campaign to erect road signs warning motorists to be on the lookout for endangered red squirrels.
The hills that frame Warcop are scattered with prehistoric cairns and stones and Roman remains. A large fortress, Castle Hill, covered an acre. The small, quiet village beside the river is rich with trees and greenery.
Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal
Warcop is 3 miles west of Brough and 5 miles southeast of Appleby-in-Westmoreland off the A6259.
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