Businesses in Dacre Towns and Villages of Cumbria


(See also Dalemain , Ullswater)

Dacre Castle and church courtesy of Graeme DougalA short distance from Ullswater where the Lakeland fells become rolling countryside sits Dacre, beside the beck of the same name. The village gets its name from the Welsh, daigr that means ‘tear’ and probably refers to the water trickling in the beck.

In the village is the Church of St Andrew, a mixture of centuries and styles. It was built on the site of a 7th century Saxon monastery. Only a few foundations remain of this building. Dacre Church courtesy of Graeme DougalThe church chancel is late 12th century, and its west tower is Norman. But the church as a whole is largely arebuilding of 1810. It has a nave, north and south aisles, and a three-belled tower.

A stone in the church commemorates the Peace of Dacre when the king of England, Aethelstan, in 927 made peace with Constantine, king of Scotland, and Eugenius of Cumberland. He assured their allegiance to him and conversion to Christianity.

Dacre church and grave yard courtesy of Graeme DougalInside the church is a memorial tablet whose kneeling figure is the work of Sir Frances Chantrey. Two shafts of ancient crosses-one of the 9th century and one a Viking 10th century representation of Adam and Eve-decorate the interior. There are a number of stained glass windows and mural monuments to the Hasell family of Dalemain.

When Cumbrian castle owner and landholder Lady Anne Clifford travelled, she presented locks to places and people who had befriended her. One such lock is on the south door of the Church of St Andrew and dates to 1671.

Dacre stone bear courtesy of Graeme DougalThe church is well known for the Dacre Bears in the churchyard. These are four weathered stone sculptures, the purpose of which is not known. The first bear is asleep, the second is being attacked by a cat, the third bear grabs the cat, and the last bear has eaten the cat.

Dacre Castle, by the church, was built by Ranulph Dacre in the 14th century as a pele tower. Its seven-foot-thick walls provided protection for the villagers from Scottish raiders. A chapel was added at a later date. Battlemented parapets and 4 square towers complete the picture.

Dacre Castle from the church courtesy of Graeme DougalThe castle fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1670's by the Earl of Sussex and turned into a private home. It was purchased by the Dalemain estate in the 1700's. There is an unusual horseshoe shaped moat on the lake side of the grounds. The castle is reputed to be haunted by a former owner's wife and lover whom the owner killed.

Dacre Horse and Farrier Pub courtesy of Graeme DougalDacre is an unspoilt Cumbrian village surrounded by farmland. Cottages, a pub, a castle, and a church sit in green hills by the riverside.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

Dacre is on a minor road four miles southwest of Penrith, between the A66 and A592.

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