Staveley, Cumbria


Staveley, Cumbria

Staveley (gbmapping|SD469981) is a village in Cumbria some 4 miles north-west of Kendal, situated at the mouth of the Kentmere valley.

Geography

Traditionally in the county of Westmorland, it became part of the new non-metropolitan county of Cumbria in 1974. The village is strategically placed at the junction of the rivers Kent and Gowan, at the mouth of the Kentmere valley. which is the next stop on the train line to the east on the way to Kendal. Due to the majority of trade and industry passing along the train lines in the 19th century the two villages grew in size and status and increased contact with each other.

History

The area has been inhabited since around 4000 BC (evidence of which can be seen close to High Borrans) when Celtic speaking Britons established farms. The Romans arrived in 90 AD building a road that passed to the south of where the village is now, linking Kendal to their main fort at Ambleside. The line of this road is still roughly followed today by the A591. Staveley is one of a very few locations in the Lake District to have a railway station on the Windermere Branch Line from Windermere to Oxenholme as laying down railway lines was deemed detrimental to the unique Lakeland landscape.

The parish of Staveley is divided into three parts; Nether Staveley, Over Staveley, and Hugill (after Hugill Fell). Williamsons Monument is situated on the fell above this section of the parish.

Industry

Weekly markets and a three-day annual fair were held from 1329 when the village was granted a market charter. The village got its name from the woodworking industry that thrived in the area due to the forests that originally covered the surrounding hills, and the close proximity of two rivers for processing the wood. Staveley means literally the 'field of staffs' (from the Middle English plural "stave" for "staf" OE "stæf" and the ME "leye" meaning pasture from Old English "leah"; akin to Old High German "loh" thicket, Latin "lucus" grove) This trade expanded during the Industrial Revolution, at its high point, the wood mill on the river Kent employed about 200 workers. Visitors can still see where the water was drawn off above the weir at Barley Bridge and channelled along the millrace to the waterwheel, replaced in 1902 with turbines. By 1850 bobbin turning was the main industry in the valley. More recently photographic paper has been made on the site, continuing the tradition of wood based crafts, and a cafe known as Wilf's has been established.

The Gowan

Gowan beck comes in to the village from the west after passing through the village of Ings. It is difficult to determine where the river got its name. In Scottish, "gowan" the name for the common daisy or occasionally the buttercup. It is derived from the original form "gollan" which is the marsh marigold, the name was made famous by Robert Burns in a poem originally entitled "The Gowan" which is now known as "To a Mountain Daisy". The lakeland poet William Wordsworth also uses the word gowan to refer to a common wayside flower indicating that the name was used in the area and therefore it is possible that the river got its name from the fact that it flows through many flower meadows on the valley floor. In Gaelic "Gowen/Gowan" can also mean "blacksmith". The name may therefore otherwise have come from the Scots Gaelic or from Irish missionaries who are known to have travelled in Cumbria during the Anglo-Saxon period and have given many words to the local dialect.

Religious buildings

hall which has since been converted into a house.

Education

Staveley CE Primary School was founded in 1755 and moved to its present position at Brow Lane on Reston Scar in 1840. A new building was built 30 years ago to house the Infant classes. The school also caters for children from the nearby villages of Crook, Kentmere, and Ings.

Every year in August residents put on an Art Exhibition for regional artists at the Roundhouse on Main Street, which includes lectures and demonstrations by notable UK artists.

Above the village on the east side is the Craggy Plantation, which covers much of Spy Crag. This area was used in the 1990s for testing various measures to control the invasion of American Grey Squirrels into the native Red Squirrel habitat.

External links

* [http://www.staveleyvillage.co.uk/ Staveley Village - Visitor's Website]
* [http://www.discover360.co.uk/portfolio_staveley1.html Virtual Tours of Staveley]
* [http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/sandham/april_045.htm The Operatic Society's fiftieth production] - with sound
* [http://www.stainedglassphotography.com/Galleries/Morris/Morris4.htm photographs of the William Morris & Co. east window]
* [http://www.staveley.cumbria.sch.uk/index.html Staveley CE School]
* [http://www.visitcumbria.com/sl/chk1.htm St James' CofE church]
* [http://www.eaglechildinn.co.uk/ the Eagle and Child Inn]
* [http://www.wilfs-cafe.co.uk/ Wilf's Cafe - formerly the Bobbin Life]
* [http://www.lilehullets.co.uk/ Li'le Hullets Bed and Breakfast]
* [http://www.ukattraction.com/cumbria+lake-district/staveley-carnival.htm Staveley Carnival]


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