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Caldbeck is one of the most beautiful and peaceful of all the Lakeland villages and is ideally situated for exploring the Lake District, the Scottish Borders, the Eden Valley and the North Pennines. The village and the surrounding area have so much to offer everyone. Many of the village buildings were built in the 17th Century and are now housing new enterprises catering for visitors and locals alike. Superb walking exists within easy reach of the village catering for all levels. This together with excellent places to stay including Bed & Breakfast (B&B) and Holiday Cottage accommodation, and with numerous places to eat and drink, this really is a great place to spend some time.

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 May 2020>
There are a variety of events taking place in Caldbeck and the surrounding area. Check out what is on during your visit here and browse the events of most interest to you.


Surrounding Areas



St Kentigern's Church, Caldbeck
The Priest's Mill, Caldbeck

Caldbeck is named after the river on which it stands – the Cold Beck. The river once supported many industrial processes – milling, fulling, bobbin making, paper manufacture and brewing – and contributed towards making the village the industrial hub of the area. There were two corn mills, known as King’s Mill and Priest’s Mill (the latter now home to several thriving craft enterprises); a woollen mill which once produced the coarse cloth for John Peel’s ‘coat so grey’; two fulling mills to process the coarse cloth, a flax mill, paper mill, four wood-turning mills and a bobbin mill (the picturesque ruins of which can still be seen at The Howk). Caldbeck also had its own brewery, now part of a house but still recognisable with its tall square cornered chimney.

However, the most important industry (after farming) was mining. In Elizabethan times, it was said that ‘Caldbeck and Caldbeck Fells are worth all England else’ because of the huge wealth derived from its precious mineral reserves. At least 20 different ores were mined here over 400 years, including silver, copper, lead, zinc, barytes, tungsten and other rare minerals. The first miners were German, invited here by Elizabeth I for their superior knowledge of mineral extraction and eventually integrating into the local communities. Many miners lived in villages and hamlets surrounding the Caldbeck Fells, walking daily to their 8-hour shifts in the mines and returning at night. Mining activity was at its peak during the Industrial Revolution with high demand for lead and copper, but by the late 19th century, the ore veins were becoming exhausted and most mines closed as it became uneconomic to work them. There was a brief resurgence in the early 1900s for barytes and tungsten, but by the 1960s all mining had ceased.

Hesket, Caldbeck and Ireby were villages on an old trading route from west to east and acted as focal points for travellers to obtain goods and services. In Caldbeck, a ‘hospice’ provided food and lodging for ‘the relief of distressed travellers’ troubled by thieves or bad weather after journeying through the Forest of Inglewood. The rights to hold weekly markets and annual fairs were granted to Hesket and Ireby in the early 13th century. It appears that in 1751 the ‘old’ market in Hesket was improved – an event that was marked by affixing the compound ‘new market’ to the name. The old market hall still stands on the green in Hesket Newmarket.

Hesket Hall

Hesket Hall was built as a giant sundial, incorporating 12 different angles ‘so arranged that the shadows give the hour of the day’.


The name Ireby means ‘settlement of the Irish’. In the early 19th century, the village had its own bank and printed its own bank notes.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins stayed at the Queen’s Head in Hesket Newmarket in September 1857. It is now called Dickens House after its famous visitor.


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