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Allithwaite and Cartmel is a civil parish in the South Lakeland district of the English county of Cumbria. It includes the villages of Allithwaite, Cartmel and Upper Holker, the historic Cartmel Priory, Humphrey Head and Cartmel Racecourse.

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Parish Villages

St Mary's Church in Allithwaite


Cartmel Village Square and Shop



Allithwaite is a south-facing Village set on low hills that overlook Morecambe Bay.

Situated south of the Lake District National Park, near to the coast and with good access to major towns in the area, Allithwaite attracts residents who enjoy living in a rural community but are within reach of many varied environments.

Allithwaite has continually grown in size over the last fifty years but has kept a community spirit which encourages many activities. The Church and School are located at the top of the hill above the Children’s Playground and nearby the Sports Fields and Community Centre cater for a variety of sports and social events. In addition to the above, the Institute, built in the mid-nineteenth century as a place of education, is still used as a home to various activities. Village committees run the above venues and are supported by the residents in raising funds.

Local businesses ensure the village continues to thrive and include a part-time Post Office at the village bowling green, a Public House, B&Bs, a wood yard and farms on the outskirts of the Village. These are the visible signs of enterprise but many more employers and self-employed people run their businesses from the Village.

Allithwaite is built on limestone. Springs in the area encouraged early settlements. Artefacts from a cave on the outskirts of the Village date to approximately 10000BC while Bronze Age remains of 2000BC have been found recently in the centre of the Village. Allithwaite is said to derive its name from Eilifr, a Norse settler in about 1000AD and thwaite is said to be a clearing in woodland. For many centuries farming and fishing were the main industries. Mary Lambert, a benefactor who lived at Boarbank Hall built the School and the Church in 1865 and from that period the Village became more established and began to flourish and grow into the Village that is here today.


Although steeped in history, Cartmel is not trapped in time and the village offers today’s visitors many modern surprises in the form of fine quality attractions, shops, eateries and places to stay.

Around the square you will discover a delightful assortment of genuine 16th – 18th century building providing, as they have for centuries, friendly inns, well stocked shops and private dwellings.

Cartmel’s religious history dates back to 677 when King Egfrith of Northumbria gave the village to St Cuthbert. Founded for ‘the regular canons of St Augustine’, Cartmel Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael has been a focus for Christian worship for more than 800 years. The impressive medieval Gatehouse (built in 1330) still dominates the square. Horse racing at Cartmel dates back to 1865, but it is likely to have been a sport dating back to at least the middle of the fifteenth century when monks from the Priory would have entertained themselves by organising races on mules!

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