Orton

Grid Ref : NY 622084
 

 

Orton is a small market village established since the reign of Edward I in the 13th Century, which looks out over views of Orton Scar and the Howgills. Bridges cross and re-cross the two village becks enclosing a small central green that shares space with 17th and 18th century cottages.

 

There are two halls – both at the south end of the village. Petty Hall is Elizabethan, and opposite is Orton Hall built in 1662.

 

 

All Saints Church is dominated by the 16th Century perpendicular tower, which has a fine peel of eight bells. The building dates from the 13th Century, but has had several restorations since, both inside and outside.

 

Wainwrights ‘Coast to Coast’ walk passes through the village, and is a popular staging post before the long haul to Kirkby Stephen. Walks from the village lead over Orton Scar, a place of deep fissures that support ferns and wildflowers. Behind Orton Scar lies Castle Folds, a small fort and wall constructed to hold cattle during Scottish raids.

 

One mile east of Orton is the ancient Gamelands stone circle – some 100 yards in circumference. Although one of the largest in Cumbria, all of its stones have tumbled, and none is higher than one yard, so is infrequently visited, though access is easy.

 

George Whitehead, who with George Fox, was one of the founders of the Quakers, was born here in 1636.

 

Orton Farmers Market, National Farmers Market of the Year 2005, attracts many visitors to the village. Over 40 local farmers, growers, producers and artisan craftsmen offer a tremendous variety of high quality and speciality local produce and crafts.

 
Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham, other photo by Matthew Emmott.
 
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