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Things to do in Thursby, Cumbria

Thursby (Cumbria), Ship Inn, Bus-stop. © Claus Schoenbrodt

Thursby is a quiet village of agricultural origins, 6 miles South West of Carlisle. While the Romans travelled through at an earlier date, Thursby is named after the Viking god Thor (pórr) and a temple was said to have been dedicated to him at nearby Woodriggs.

The village has a number of listed buildings of historical interest and a good network of public footpaths, taking in its peaceful rural surroundings and local wildlife. The Post Office and shop can be found in School Road.

Situated north of the River Whampool, Thursby was closely tied with the neighbouring hamlet of Crofton, where the Brisco family resided at Crofton Hall until the 1930s.

Sadly the building fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 1960s, though the lake and icehouse still remain in the grounds.

St Andrew's Church at the west end of Church Lane in Thursby was built in 1846, funded by the Brisco family, on the site of a previous church said to have been built by David I, King of Scotland. The present church houses a peal of 6 bells in its tower, and has a number of marble monuments to the Brisco family, as well as the ancient font.

Mrs Beeton (born Isabella Mayson in 1836) of Cookery Book fame is a famous grand-daughter of Thursby.

Her father Benjamin was born in the village, where her grandfather John Mayson was curate of Thursby until he was promoted to Vicar of neighbouring Great Orton at the grand old age of 64 years! Isabella spent some time living with her grandfather there after her father's early death.

At the heart of the village is The Green, now a well-mown open grassy area, but previously the site of the Victorian village school until the 1950s.

The Ship Inn nearby dates from the 18th century and is famously the birth place on 25th February 1822 of Sir Thomas Bouch, the well-respected Victorian Engineer.

Despite being responsible for many successful and pioneering engineering triumphs, his career was blighted by the ill-fated Tay Bridge disaster in 1879, in which the bridge he had designed was swept away with the loss of 75 lives.

The pub makes a good stopping off point for visitors passing through on their way to the Lake District or West Cumbria, or for those who want to take more time to explore the village.

Visitors will find many interesting buildings in and around the village centre, and a useful map is to be found at the Noticeboard near the Green. There are a number of traditional clay-walled buildings, including parts of Greenwood Cottage on the Green, and Rosedene Cottage opposite the church on Matty Lonning.

Good examples of the larger Georgian farms built of local sandstone still exist, at Holly Lodge and West House in the village centre. The older 17th century farmhouse at Evening Hill has a cart-entrance and clay-built outbuildings (on your right as you head south out of the village towards Curthwaite).

A little further on, set back in the trees, is the Tudor-styled Evening Hill house built in 1833, with twisted candlestick chimneystacks.

The Maryport and Carlisle Railway constructed in the 1830s previously served Thursby via nearby Curthwaite Station, where the old station house and water tower can be seen by the railway bridge on the Curthwaite Road, at the boundary between the two parishes.

While Crofton Hall is no longer standing, its impressive entrance arch and gatehouses can be seen on the A595, and if you turn up the road under the archway then you can visit the original stable block which now houses Thornby Moor Dairy, makers of award-winning cheese, and Crofton Lake which is fished by local angling enthusiasts.

Thursby continues to grow and thrive, with many active community groups and a programme of regular events at the Parish Hall (see local press), as well as sporting facilities and a play area at the Jubilee Field next to Thursby Primary School (at the end of School Road). The Ship Inn provides an open fire and good pub food.

Description by Joanna Dancer

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Images of Thursby


Thursby(Cumbria). St. Andrew's Church © Claus Schoenbrodt



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