Grid Ref : NY 040060
Calder bridge has three splendid houses – Calder Abbey House, Pelham House, and Sella Park.
Pelham House, 1774, was designed by James Paine for Edward Stanley, and first known as Ponsonby Hall. During its life, it has been an approved school for boys, and is now used as offices for the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA). It is Grade 2* listed.
The grade 1 listed Calder Abbey House is attached to the ruins of Calder Abbey. The Abbey was founded in 1134 by Ranulph de Meschines, Lord of Copeland, for a colony of monks from Furness Abbey, originally as a Benedictine monastery. The Abbey has been described as one of the most enchanting in the British Isles.
Sella Park is a 14th century pele tower incorporated into late 17th century house, with 19th century restorations. In 2008 The Pennington family of Muncaster Castle secured the grade-two listed building and its five acres of gardens on a long term lease from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which took over ownership from BNFL. It will now be used as a restaurant and hotel.
BNFL bought the property in 1979. Before that it was in the hands of the Stanley family for 143 years before being bought in 1954 by Alan and Margaret Riley, who ran it as a hotel.
A short distance from the village is the Sellafield Nuclear reprocessing site, and the closed Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station.
The village also has two churches – St Bridget’s Church, and about half a mile away, in a field, is is the small but beautifulPonsonby church. Both have Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows by Henry Holiday, and Ponsonby also has windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
There is an ancient path from Kinniside Common (Cold Fell), past Monks Bridge and Calder Abbey to Calder Bridge.