When the Earl of Derwentwater was executed for his part in the 1715 Jacobean uprising, his wife fled her home on Lords Island (on Derwentwater) and, it is said, threw all her jewels into the lake rather than have them confiscated. The ‘rake’ or gully on Walla Crag she climbed during her escape is now known as ‘Lady’s Rake’. Legend has it that the whitewashed Bishop’s Rock marks the place where the Bishop of Derry fell to his death in 1783 after a drunken wager in the pub below that he could get to the summit of Barf on his horse. Yes, history is all around us – we’ve even found a piece of glass inscribed ‘GW 1691’ in our own grounds at Castlerigg.
Dated at around 3200BC, Castlerigg stone circle is thought to be one of the earliest stone circles in Britain, and indeed in Europe. Its 38 stones make up a slight oval with 10 smaller stones forming an inner rectangle. While we can only guess as to their purpose, more recent sightings of strange lights in the sky above the stones only add to their mystery.
Within sight of the circle, exciting new geophysics findings point to the existence of an early Roman fort.
The very precariously balanced ‘Bowder Stone’ at nearby Grange didn’t, as you might imagine, topple down the mountainside, as it is not a local rock. Most likely the 2000 ton stone was carried here from Scotland by glaciers of the ice age.
Castlerigg in Sepia
John & Betty Jackson first started to develop the land at Castlerigg Hall into a Caravan and Camping Park in the late 1950s. The family had farmed here since 1938 but now the old barns and farm buildings were put to new use as campsite facilities. From these early beginnings their son David and his wife Jill have taken over the mantle and continue to develop the site.