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Cartmel village by the River Eea
Location map United Kingdom South Lakeland.svg
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Location in South Lakeland
Cumbria UK location map.svg
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Location within Cumbria
OS grid reference SD380786
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LA11
Dialling code 015395
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
UK Parliament
List of places
54°11′56″N2°57′04″W / 54.199°N 2.951°W / 54.199; -2.951 Coordinates: 54°11′56″N2°57′04″W / 54.199°N 2.951°W / 54.199; -2.951
Cartmel Priory Church Cartmel England.jpg
Cartmel Priory

Cartmel is a village in Cumbria, England, 2.2 miles (3.5 km) north-west of Grange-over-Sands close to the River Eea. The village takes its name from the Cartmel Peninsula, and was historically known as Kirkby in Cartmel. The village is the location of the 12th-century Cartmel Priory, around which it initially grew. Historically in Lancashire, since 1974 it has been in the administrative county of Cumbria.


Whilst its history has been in its ecclesiastical and agricultural communities, Cartmel has since the mid-twentieth century developed as a minor tourist destination, being just outside the Lake District National Park. [1] Several attractions in the village, including Cartmel Racecourse and a Michelin-starred restaurant, cater to this tourist trade.


The name Cartmel means ‘sandbank by rocky ground’, from the Old Norse kartr (rocky ground) and melr. [2] The place-name is first attested in 677, when the Cartmel Peninsula was granted to St Cuthbert, whose influence may explain why by the Norman Conquest the village was known as Kirkby, a name indicating the location of a church. [3]

Cartmel Priory was founded in the village in 1190 by William Marshal, created 1st Earl of Pembroke, intended for a community of the Augustinian Canons regular and was dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Michael. To support the new house, William granted it the whole fief of the district of Cartmel. [4] Following the dissolution of the monasteries, much of the local land fell into the ownership of the Preston family at nearby Holker Hall. Through marriage Holker became part of the estate of the Cavendish Family, and today is the home of Lord Cavendish. As well as the estate around Holker, the Cavendish family still owns much of the land of the Peninsula. [5]

Agriculture was the chief industry of the area until the mid-twentieth century, [3] dominated by the lands of the Cavendishes, and remains an important part of the village. Nearby Grange-over-Sands eclipsed Cartmel as the biggest settlement on the peninsula in the nineteenth century, growing as a Victorian seaside resort [6] when the Furness Railway was built across the peninsula. Cartmel village was, and remains, served by a station in nearby Cark, open in 1857 and called Cark and Cartmel.

Hospitality and Tourism

Tourism has grown in the village since the middle of the twentieth century. In 1923 Cartmel Priory Gatehouse became a museum for the Priory, and was used for exhibitions and meetings, before being presented to the National Trust in 1946. By 2011 it was mainly in private residential use, although the Great Room is opened to the public on several days a year. [7] The Priory itself is still the local parish church, but is open to visitors outside of service times. [8]

Cartmel Racecourse dates back to at least the nineteenth century, but grew in popularity when it became a National Hunt course after the Second World War. It started to attract major professionals in the 1960s, and now hosts popular meetings two or three times a year, with its biggest meeting traditionally in Whit Week. [9]

Writers who encouraged the growth of tourism to Cartmel include Lancashire dialect writer and BBC broadcaster, Thomas Thompson, who authored sixteen books on Lancashire people and their communities and was fond of Cartmel. The frontispiece in his 1937 book Lancashire Brew is 'Cartmel from an etching by Joseph Knight', the founder of the Manchester School of Painters. Later Alfred Wainwright dedicated a chapter to Cartmel Fell, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Cartmel, in his 1974 book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland . [10]

More recently Cartmel has emerged as a foodie destination. Cartmel sticky toffee pudding was first sold at the village shop in 1984 [11] and grew in popularity: it is now sold in supermarkets around the UK. The Cartmel Sticky Toffee Company, who make it, moved toa larger factory in nearby Flookburgh in the 2000s but still operate[ clarification needed ] and sell from the village shop in Cartmel. [12] In 2002, chef Simon Rogan opened L'Enclume restaurant in the village. The restaurant quickly became one of the UK's most popular, and held top spot as the UK's best restaurant in The Good Food Guide from 2014-2017, returning to the top in 2020. [13] In 2022 it became the first restaurant in the UK outside London and the South-East to gain 3 Michelin stars. [14] Rogan makes use of the agricultural hinterland of Cartmel and most of the produce supplied to the restaurant is grown on the peninsula, including Rogan's nearby twelve-acre (5 hectare) farm. [15] Rogan's second restaurant in Cartmel, Rogan & Co, is also Michelin-starred, [16] and the village also hosts Unsworth's Yard, a collection of artisan-food retailers who use local produce. [16]


Cartmel is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) from the nearest town, Grange-over-Sands, and about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) from the A590 road, which connects it to the M6 Motorway. Cark and Cartmel railway station has a roughly hourly service between Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster, with some services continuing north to Carlisle and others south to Manchester.


Cartmel Church of England Primary School is the village primary school. Cartmel Priory School takes pupils aged between 11 and 16 from around the Cartmel Peninsula.


Cartmel is part of the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency, of which Tim Farron is the current Member of parliament representing the Liberal Democrats. [17]

For Local Government purposes it is in the Cartmel Ward of South Lakeland District Council and the Cartmel Division of Cumbria County Council.

The village also has its own Parish council, Lower Allithwaite Parish Council. [18]

Related Research Articles

Cartmel Priory

Cartmel Priory church serves as the parish church of Cartmel, Cumbria, England.

Grange-over-Sands Human settlement in England

Grange-over-Sands is a town and civil parish located on the north side of Morecambe Bay in Cumbria, England, a few miles south of the Lake District National Park. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 4,042, increasing at the 2011 census to 4,114. Historically part of Lancashire, the town was created as an urban district in 1894. Since the 1974 local government re-organisation, it has been of the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, though it remains part of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Cark & Cartmel railway station Railway station in Cumbria, England

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Kents Bank Human settlement in England

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Lindale, Cumbria Human settlement in England

Lindale - traditionally Lindale in Cartmel - is a village in the south of Cumbria. It lies on the north-eastern side of Morecambe Bay, England. It was part of Lancashire from 1182 to 1974. It is in the civil parish of Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel, in South Lakeland district.

Cartmel Priory Gatehouse

Cartmel Priory Gatehouse is a medieval building located at Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, England. It is listed grade II* and is part of a scheduled monument. It belongs to the National Trust.

Sticky toffee pudding English dessert

Sticky toffee pudding, also known as STP or as sticky date pudding in Australia and New Zealand, is a British dessert consisting of a moist sponge cake, made with finely chopped dates, covered in a toffee sauce and often served with a vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream. It is considered a British classic by various culinary experts, although the origins of the contemporary dish are only in the middle of the twentieth century.

Cark Human settlement in England

Cark is a village in Cumbria, England. It lies on the B5278 road to Haverthwaite and is ½ mile north of Flookburgh, 2 miles southwest of Cartmel and 3 miles west of Grange-over-Sands.

Cartmel Peninsula is a peninsula in Cumbria in England. It juts in a southerly direction into Morecambe Bay, bordered by the estuaries of the River Leven to the west and the River Winster to the east. It is, along with the Furness Peninsula, one of the two areas of that formed Lancashire North of the Sands, and the better known 'Furness' is often used to describe both peninsulae together. To its north, the peninsula's borders are usually given as the banks of Windermere and the border with the historic county of Westmorland between the Lake and the head of the Winster.

Flookburgh Human settlement in England

Flookburgh is an ancient village on the Cartmel peninsula in Cumbria, England, until 1974 part of Lancashire. Being close to Morecambe Bay, cockle and shrimp fishing plays a big part in village life.

Allithwaite Human settlement in England

Allithwaite is a small village in Cumbria, England, located roughly 1.2 miles (1.9 km) west of Grange-over-Sands. Most of its residents commute to local areas of Ulverston, Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal or Lancaster to work. Historically in Lancashire, Allithwaite, and the village of Cartmel situated to the north, are part of the civil parish of Lower Allithwaite. At the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 1,758, increasing to 1,831 at the 2011 Census. There is also a civil parish previously known as Upper Allithwaite which was renamed in 2018 as Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel, and includes Lindale, Low Newton and High Newton. The population of this parish at the 2011 Census was 843.

Cartmel Racecourse Horse racing venue in England

Cartmel Racecourse is a small national hunt racecourse in the village of Cartmel, now in the ceremonial county of Cumbria, historically in Lancashire. Nine racedays are held each year, starting on the Whit Holiday weekend at the end of May and ending on the August Bank Holiday weekend in August Bank Holidays.

Cartmel Fell Human settlement in England

Cartmel Fell is a hamlet and a civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 309, increasing at the 2011 census to 329. The village of Cartmel and Cartmel Priory are not in this parish but in Lower Allithwaite, to the south: Cartmel Fell church is about 7 miles north of Cartmel Priory.

LEnclume British restaurant

L'Enclume is a restaurant opened in 2002 in Cartmel, Cumbria, England, run by chef Simon Rogan and his partner Penny Tapsell. L'Enclume received a rating of 10 out of 10 five times in the Good Food Guide and named their top restaurant for the fourth consecutive year in the 2017 guide, and placed second in the 2018 guide. It has received three Michelin stars and five AA Rosettes.

Humphrey Head

Humphrey Head is a limestone outcrop situated south of the village of Allithwaite in Cumbria, England. It is whale-back-shaped and accessible for walkers, giving views over Morecambe Bay to Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham and over the Leven estuary to Ulverston. There is an Ordnance Survey trig point at the top.

Lower Allithwaite Human settlement in England

Lower Allithwaite is a civil parish in the South Lakeland district of the English county of Cumbria. It includes the villages of Allithwaite and Cartmel, the historic Cartmel Priory, Humphrey Head and Cartmel Racecourse. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 1,758, increasing at the 2011 census to 1,831.

St Marys Church, Allithwaite Church in Cumbria, England

St Mary's Church is in the village of Allithwaite, Cumbria, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Windermere, the archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, and the diocese of Carlisle. Its benefice is united with those of St Mary and St Michael, Cartmel, St Peter, Field Broughton, St John the Baptist, Flookburgh, St Paul, Grange-over-Sands, Grange Fell Church, Grange-Over-Sands, and St Paul, Lindale to form the benefice of Cartmel Peninsula. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.

St John the Baptists Church, Flookburgh Church in Cumbria, England

St John the Baptist's Church is in Station Road in the village of Flookburgh, on the Cartmel Peninsula in Cumbria, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Windermere, the archdeaconry of Westmorland and Furness, and the diocese of Carlisle. Its benefice is united with those of St Mary, Allithwaite, St Mary and St Michael, Cartmel, St Peter, Field Broughton, St Paul, Grange-over-Sands, Grange Fell Church, Grange-Over-Sands, St Paul, Lindale, St Mary Staveley-in-Cartmel, St Anne Haverthwaite and St Peter Finsthwaite to form the benefice of Cartmel Peninsula. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.

Ravenstown is also a nickname for Baltimore, Maryland.

Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel

Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel, formerly Upper Allithwaite is a civil parish in South Lakeland, Cumbria, England. The spelling Lindale and Newton in Cartmel, without hyphens, is used by the parish council.


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  2. Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 89.
  3. 1 2 Farrer, William; Brownbill, J (1914). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. London. pp. 254–265.{{cite book}}: |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help); |archive-url= requires |url= (help)
  4. "British History Online: The Priory of Cartmel" . Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  5. "Holker Estate". Holker Hall. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  6. Grange over Sands - the Cartmel Peninsula Edge Guide; Accessed 17/03/08
  7. National trust web page Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
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  9. "Cartmel Racecourse". Britsih Racecourses. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  10. Wainwright, Alfred (1974). The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Westmorland Gazette.
  11. MacEacheran, Mike. "The contentious origins of England's famous pudding". BBC.
  12. Mayoh, Emma (7 October 2015). "Cartmel sticky toffee pudding celebrate 25 years". Lancashire Life. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  13. Lake, Emma (10 September 2019). "Simon Rogan's L'Enclume returns to top spot in Good Food Guide 2020". The Caterer. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  14. "How L'Enclume's Michelin win is taking Cumbria to the top of the foodie table". The Guardian. 18 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  15. Shinger, Tom. "Simon Rogan's Farm at L'Enclume - Great British Chefs". Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  16. 1 2 "Simon Rogan, L'enclume, sticky toffee pudding and Cartmel Cheeses - how a small Cumbria village became foodie heaven". North West Evening Mail. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  17. "Tim Farron". Archived from the original on 1 June 2013.
  18. "Lower Allithwaite Parish".