Greystoke is a pleasant village with 17th century cottages, many with cobbled forecourts, about 4 miles west of Penrith. It is on the outskirts of the Lake District National Park, and retains its village green with its ancient market cross that dates back at least to the early 1600’s.
There has been a Church as Greystoke since 1255. The Church at that time was richly endowed. The nobility took a personal interest in their Parish Church, and the 14th Baron Greystoke, who built the first Greystoke Castle, and whose grave is in the chancel, was keen to add chantries, where masses for the dead would be held. Three were built on each side of the nave, with painted oak screens. At the Reformation, the oak screens were removed, leaving a very large nave. The tower was used by villagers seeking refuge from marauding Scots (as a pele tower).
There is much of interest to see in St Andrew’s church, including ancient stained glass, and modern sculptures.
The history of Greystoke Castle begins in the 12th Centrury when Ivo, grandson of local Saxon chieftain Llyulph, created the first stone structure on the site of the present castle in 1129. This building grew to become one of the border chain of fortifications, creating the huge Pele Tower, which in 1338 William de Greystoke obtained Royal Licence to castellate.
To the East of the village of Greystoke are three well known folly farmholds built about 1789 by Charles Howard (the 11th Duke of Norfolk) (1746-1815) of Greystoke Castle.
Greystoke Beer Festival has been running for 10 years and is held annually in September. It features cask beer and live local music. It is an important annual fund raiser for the Swimming Pool and Sports Committee.
Places of local interest include Greystoke Gill Pottery and the ancient pele tower at Blencow Hall.
Greystoke Online – good community website
Grid Ref : NY 440309