Askham

Grid Ref : NY 513237
 

18th century houses in the attractive village of Askham. Photo by Ann Bowker.

Askham is one of the most attractive villages in the former county of Westmorland, about 4 miles south of Penrith. It adjoins the River Lowther, and contains many whitewashed cottages either side of the two village greens.

 

Askham Hall. Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham

Sir Robert Smirke whilst working on the design for nearby Lowther Castle, also designed St Peter’s church in Askham, the foundation stone of which was laid on 28th June 1832.

 

Opposite St peter’s Church is Askham Hall, a 14th century pele tower converted into an Elizabethan mansion in the mid 16th century by Thomas Sandford, whose family lived in it until 1828 when it became a rectory. It has three irregular wings around an oblong courtyard. Askham Hall has been the home of Lord Lonsdale since the dismantling of nearby Lowther Castle.

 

Askham Hall Gardens and Café are now open to the public.

 

The bridge over the River Lowther below Askham. Photo by Tony Richards.

There are two pubs in Askham – the 17th century Queen’s Head, and the 18th century Punch Bowl, both still retaining some of their original features.

 

The area around Askham has been inhabited since the late stone age, with two embanked enclosures on nearby Skirsgill Hill, and other prehistoric sites at nearby Moor Divock. There is a bridleway to Moor Divock from Askham.

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