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Pictures of Askham

in the county of Cumbria

About Askham

Snow tinges the broad grass verges of tree lined streets and a weak, late afternoon sun, filters down across the view of Lowther Castle situated at the edge of the village. Now a romantic ruin, Lowther Castle was built in traditional Gothic style in the year 1811 to the design of a young architect named Robert Smirke. The Lowther family have been great landowners and have remained at the heart of this pretty estate village for centuries. They were also a family of political prowess and it is known that at one time James, Earl of Lonsdale, who died early in the 19th-century, controlled no less than nine seats in parliament.

The other great house in the village is the part-14th century Askham Hall. This grand house was converted into an Elizabethan mansion during the 16th-century when it was the home of the Sandford family. It was later to be taken over by the Earl of Lonsdale and became part of the Lowther estate.

Brightly painted houses line the streets of the village, some are whitewashed and others are built of stone or are drably cement clad and perhaps it is because of this drabness that many are painted in bright colours. Some of the cottages are charmingly individual and bear the date of origin crested above the door.

The village Church of St.Peter, is to be found in a quiet spot beside the River Lowther. It was built by the same young architect that built Lowther Castle, who by now - 1832 had become Sir Robert Smirke. This new church, funded by the Earl of Lonsdale, replaced the old 13th-century church of St.Kentigern.

The fact that this is a hospitable little village is borne out by its two charming Inns which both welcome the visitor with cheerful open fires. Many original features are retained in the 18th-century Punch Bowl and it is delightfully furnished with antiques from differing periods. The 17th-century Queens Head has fine examples of old wooden beams and many original features remain.

The village of Askham lies just south of all the attractions of the town of Penrith and the historic house of Dalemain is at nearby Stainton. Close to Lowther Castle is a Leisure Park.

The village of Askham lies amid some of England's finest scenery, the magnificent Ulleswater lake is but a short distance away and the whole region is one of hills, dales, rivers and little dancing streams. It is, therefore, not surprising that high summer sees Askhams two beautiful old Inns thronged with visitors from all corners of the world, they come as much for the pleasure of this attractive village, as they do for the jewel in which it is set.

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