Businesses in Wreay (Carlisle) Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Wreay (Carlisle)

(See also Wreay Woods Nature Reserve)

Wreay school by Jonathan ThackerWreay (Wree-a) is on the Petteril river south of Carlisle. Its name is supposed to come from the Norse for ‘bend in the river’. Village history dates from 1319. The Plough Inn is the scene of a yearly meeting of the self-elected Twelve Men, whose responsibility used to be the welfare of the village inhabitants. The village has a primary school.

Wreay St Marys Church by Alexander P KappThe church of St Mary was designed and built by Sarah Losh and consecrated in 1842. It was intended as a memorial to her parents (her father John was a local industrialist) and her sister, Katherine, who died in 1835. The church reflects aspects of their European tour and is replete with Italian and French details. It is rectangular with an apse, copying the shape of a Roman basilica.

Wreay St Marys Church altar and part of apse by Rose and Trev CloughThe apse has small fossil windows and is marked off by 14 pillars with 13 seats between. Above the seats are emblems of the 12 apostles and Christ. The walls are decorated around the ‘fossil’ windows with passion flowers and lilies. Acorns and pine cones are found carved in profusion. Animals, insects, and birds are another theme.

Wreay Church window by Rose and Trev CloughElsewhere the church boasts 84 windows, a bog oak reading desk, and seven lamps of the spirit. Outside the church are gargoyles, a well, a sundial, a mausoleum for Katherine, and a replica of the Bewcastle cross. The alabaster font was carved by Sarah Losh.

North-east of the village is Wreay Woods Nature Reserve. The woods were once more extensive but gave way to farm fields. A path in the village leads into the woods.

Scalesceugh Hall courtesy Times and StarNearby Scalesceugh Hall, constructed in 1684, with 20th century enlargements is home to a large number of trees from many different countries. It is now a residential home.

Half a mile north-east of the village at Park House farm is a Roman fort. The eastern corner, 300 feet of the north-east side, and part of the south-east side were discovered in the 1940s. On the Wreay Plough Inn by Alexander P Kappsite were found Roman coins from BC 81. Another find was the Wreay Hall signal station, a double-ditched camp. It is thought to date from the late 4th century as evidenced by pottery remains.

Photos courtesy of Times and Star and Jonathan Thacker , Alexander P Kapp , Rose and Trev Clough The Geograph Britain and Ireland project.

There are two Wreay villages: one five miles south-east of Carlisle on a minor road off the M6 and another on a minor road off the A592 south-west of Penrith. This Wreay village is the one near Carlisle.

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