Situated 10 miles east of Carlisle on the edge of the North Pennines, Castle Carrock is a hidden Cumbrian gem. The village is a community of 303 people according to the census of 2001, that combines a respect for heritage and history with the practicalities of life in the 21st century. Castle Carrock has a thriving primary school, a church, a shop and a village hall as well as a pub. These pages provide information for those planning a visit to the area and also for those living in the parish. Menus at the top and left of each page are provided to make your navigation easy.
We’re very sorry, unfortunately there is no longer a castle in Castle Carrock. Many years ago there was once either a very large mansion or castle here which was owned by Robert de Castle Carrock. It was taken down and it is believed that some of the stone was then used to rebuild St. Peter’s Church. Castle Carrock is a thriving little community village with a shop, primary school, pub, village hall and a church.
Also Castle Carrock has a reservoir, which is something of a local landmark and an excellent place to go for a walk. Back in the 1980s BBC Radio 4 did a short series about life in a typical country village. Castle Carrock was chosen as the said typical village, you can listen to the recordings of the show on this website.
Castle Carrock is a beautiful, peaceful place to come and visit. It is near to the Lake District and easy to get to from all over the country. Additionally there is plenty to do around here. Whether you’re after a quite country break or a fun family holiday or maybe something else, Castle Carrock is the perfect place to be. Accommodation in Castle Carrock is among the best. It is comfortable and often has spectacular views over the glorious countryside, in which Castle Carrock is set. So come and see us and remember to “Please Dance“!
Additionally we recommend you read our mobile phone guide before visiting us. Phone reception can be poor in Castle Carrock.
Being a small country village, tucked away in the North Pennines, you would be forgiven for thinking that not very much happens in Castle Carrock. But you’d be very much mistaken for we punch above our weight. The Watson Institute, St. Peter’s Church, The Duke of Cumberland, Geltsdale Arts, Castle Carrock Primary School and others provide much and varied entertainment for the village all year long. Various musicians and actors come here and put on shows in the Watson Institute, which people from Castle Carrock and the surrounding villages attend. In the summer Geltsdale Arts organise the popular Music on the Marr festival and artisan’s market, which attracts people from all over.
You can see upcoming events in Castle Carrock by checking our calendar.
Castle Carrock has a village hall which looks a bit like a Castle. When it was built in 1898 it was known as The Watson Institute and had a free library. Since then it has changed hands and there is no longer a library there, but it is still used for many things. The changing hands has led to some debate amongst the villages as to whether it is called the Watson Institute or the Watson Hall. It no longer has a library, so hall makes more sense to some. To others it is institute because it always was and always will be. By whichever name you choose to give our rather interesting looking village meeting space, it is used much throughout the year for a variety of public and private events and is the centre of many village goings on.
For about 150 years Castle Carrock has had a school situated next to St. Peter’s Church, where generations of villagers and a good number from elsewhere have been taught. The current Head is Chris Marsh, who has been at the school for over a decade. The school get involved with village events and allow some of the school facilities to be used. The school has a choir who have performed at Music on the Marr as well as other performances. Additionally a girl from year six is picked every year to be “Carnival Queen”.
There have been many buildings on the site of St. Peters Church in Castle Carrock. The earliest church was thought to have been built in the middle ages, the current church was built in 1828 and restored in 1888. It has been well attended for many years, when someone new came to live in a house near to St. Peters Church, he was pleasantly surprised to be asked to cut back his hedge a bit; in order to stop the branches knocking ladies hats off when walking to church on a Sunday.
Today St. Peters Church is still used much and is one of the venues for Music on the Marr and the Spring and Autumn shows. However, it is much in need for restoration and a lack of funding is making that tricky to do, so if you can afford to give a little bit to the cause it will be much appreciated.
Castle Carrock Parish Council is currently chaired by Cllr. Devereux and employs a clerk. Parishioners are allowed to attend meetings, but are asked not to interrupt when the meeting is in progress, unless the chairman gives them permission. Meetings are usually taken in the Watson Institute. The local city and county councillors also attend parish council meetings. Local planning applications are discussed by the Parish Council and current planning application information can be found on the Castle Carrock Parish Council On-line Noticeboard.
Castle Carrock is home to the spectacular Music on the Marr music festival. The inaugural festival was dreamt up Richard Johnston, who spotted the opportunity to use a marquee, that had been used for a wedding. The resulting music festival was so popular that it has returned every year since and attracts people from all over the world. As well as great music, the festival also provides quality real ales from the local Geltsdale Brewery in Brampton and hosts an artisans market.