Wray Castle

Wray Castle by Barry HodgesThe Gothic revival Wray castle and its adjoining church were built for a Dr Dawson, a retired surgeon, in 1840. Wray castle, on the shores of Lake Windermere, is important because of its association with Beatrix Potter. The home was inherited after Dawsons death in 1875 by his nephew Preston Rawnsley, whose cousin Hardwicke Rawnsley became vicar of the church.

Beatrix Potters family rented the castle in 1882 and played host to Hardwicke Rawnsley. His views on the importance of preserving nature influenced her to buy and preserve much of Lakelands countryside. One of her purchases was the land surrounding the house.

Wray Castle by Barry HodgesIn the 65 acres of grounds are paths leading to the edge of the lake and many specimen trees: wellingtonia, redwood, gingkoa, weeping lime and varieties of beech. Wordsworth planted a mulberry tree in 1845. He said of the home that it ‘added a dignified feature to the interesting scenery in the midst of which it stands.’

Wray castle is two miles south of Ambleside on the B5286.
The castle is not open to the public but is home to a telecomms engineering enterprise. The grounds are open to the public at various times. Check with any Tourist Information Centre.View from Wray Castle by Barry Hodges

Photos courtesy of Barry Hodges

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