Businesses in Kirkoswald Towns and Villages of Cumbria


(See also Kirkoswald Castle)

Kirkoswald St Oswalds Church courtesy of Graeme DougalKirkoswald, in the Eden valley, is named after Saint Oswald, king of Northumbria in the 7th century. He visited the area after which St Oswald's church was named in his honour. The present church, on the site of several former church buildings, dates from 1800s. A sacred spring lies under the nave and its well is on the church's west wall. In the church are a number of monuments. A separate 19th century bell tower sits on a hilltop near the river Eden.

Kirkoswald college entrance courtesy of Graeme DougalThe Kirkoswald college building began as a pele tower built in 1450. In 1523 it was used as a priests' college, founded by Thomas Lord Dacre. The college was only open until 1547 (due to Henry VIII), after which the building fell into private hands. The entrance dates from 1696.

Kirkoswald Square with 1826 Fether stone Arms courtesy of Graeme DougalThe village was given a market charter in the 13th century. A fair was held on St Oswald's day, August 15. Its cobbled market place is looked down on by red sandstone Georgian buildings. An inn dates from the 17th century. Near the village is the privately owned Nunnery, a Georgian house built in 1715, so named because it was built around a c1200 nunnery.

Kirkoswald mill and water wheel courtesy of Graeme DougalKirkoswald suffered from Scottish raiders in the 14th century, and over a period of many years, from bad harvests and outbreaks of diseases. The plague killed 2/3 of the people in 1598. Raven Beck runs through the village and its water power was once used for three corn mills, a paper mill, and a mill for carding and spinning wool.

Kirkoswald St Oswalds bell tower closeup courtesy of Graeme Dougal Kirkoswald castle was once a presence in the village. In the 17th century and again in 1715 the site was plundered for building material. Only scattered bits and pieces of stone and the remnants of a tower remain surrounded by a moat and embankment.

Kirkoswald, on a steep hill, is connected with the village of Lazonby by a bridge over the river Eden.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

Kirkoswald is on the B6413 north of Penrith.

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