Businesses in Crosby Ravensworth Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Crosby Ravensworth

(See also St Lawrence Church)

Crosby Ravensworth By Steve BulmanLyvennet Beck plays host to Crosby Ravensworth where sheep hold sway with prehistoric sites on the limestone uplands.

Ewe Close, one of about 90 of these sites, is a series of rectangular enclosures and ditches, with circular huts inside. Burwens Native Settlement is a one-acre rectangle enclosing hut circles and passages. The huts, their walls up to 6 feet thick, probably had turf or thatched roofs. The line of a Roman road lies southwest.

The Vikings settled here, and the village name may relate to the Danish Raffen and thwaite, which means level ground enclosed by woods and hills.

Crosby Ravensworth church exterior By Barbara BallardNo remains now stand of a former wooden Saxon church. An early Norman church followed the Saxon one into oblivion, helped along by a Scottish border raid, according to some accounts. Evidence of a late Norman church exists in the clustered piers at the corners of the crossing and in the north aisle's projecting capitals.

The church was rebuilt in 1240 with new arches, columns and other alterations. Further rebuilding and restyling occurred around the end of the 15th century, and much restoration was necessary in the 19th century to preserve the church. The inner doorway dates from the 1200's, while the nave with its three-arched arcade is from the 12th century.

A 7th century cross, said to be the focus of Christian worship by St Paulinus, is an important relic. The church, dedicated to St Lawrence, is surrounded by ancient oak trees.

Crosby Ravensworth church interior By Barbara BallardA summer agricultural show spotlighting sheep and sheepdog trials is an annual village highlight. The Butcher's Arms in the village is named after the Duke of Cumberland, considered at the time to be a hero.

Several single-arched bridges span Lyvennet Beck. Flass House (now a school) built in 1851 of white stone sits nearby in spacious grounds. Meaburn Hall, built in 1610, belonged to the 1st Earl of Lonsdale, of the de Morville family. Hugh de Morville was one of the men involved in the killing of Thomas à Becket in 1170, and, as a consequence, his land was forfeited to the King. Summer houses in the grounds denote the remains of a former pleasure garden.

“Black Dub”, south of the village, is known as the place where King Charles II stopped with his army in 1651 when he marched south from Scotland. An obelisk marks the spot and is inscribed “Here, at Black Dub, the source of the Lyvennet, Charles II regaled his army, on their march from Scotland, August 8th, A.D. 1651”.

Another historic site, this one north of Crosby Ravensworth, is the ruin of a 14th century fortified house, Crake Trees. A tower, solar, and hall were part of the rooms. Outbuildings also inhabited the grounds.

Crosby Ravensworth Fell is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with its breeding ground for golden plover, red grouse, curlew, and other birds. Surrounded by open fells and burial mounds, Crosby Ravensworth village, with its two lanes of cottages and a village green, sits on fertile ground by the river.

Photos by Barbara Ballard and courtesy of Steve Bulman

Crosby Ravensworth is 4½ miles south-west of Appleby-In-Westmorland, off the B6260.

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