Grid Ref : NY 662220


In the days of horses and carts Crackenthorpe was a picturesque wayside hamlet far enough removed from Appleby to have a separate identity as a civil parish, since 1898 (quote from Westmorland Heritage, Wainwright).


Peace was shattered when the road through its center became the A66, but tranquility was restored with the construction of the Appleby bypass, albeit with a permanent separation of Crackenthorpe Hall from village.


Crackenthorpe Hall. Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham

Crackenthorpe Hall was the ancesteral home of the Machell family. The original house was built before the fifteenth century and has had a number of alterations over the years. When the Lancastrians were defeated by the Yorkists at the Battle of Hexam in 1464, King Henry VI sought refuge here as the guest of the Machells and is said to have spent his time gardening. See Gallery for more images of the Hall.


One of the flower beds is known as the King’s Garden and one of the rooms is called the King’s Bedchamber. The ghost of Peg Sleddal (ne Elizabeth Sleddal, who had been married to Lancelot Machell) is said to ride a carriage and six horses through Crackenthorpe when the Helm wind blows down from the Pennines during September (quote from Secrets and Legends of Old Westmorland, Robertson and Koronka).


The Hall is now available to rent, with accommodation for up to 27 people.


Site of the Crackenthorpe Roman marching camp (NY 651238)

This unusually sited Crackenthorpe Roman marching camp was seemingly aligned upon the line of the Roman road between Kirkby Thore and Brough Castle, which originally passed about 200 ft (60m) outside the north-eastern defences of the camp and lay on the same alignment as the disused railway cutting. The modern A66 main road passes through the north-eastern half of the camp, and Powis Cottage lies just inside the south-eastern defences, the minor road to Long Marton cutting across the eastern corner-angle.


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