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Things to do in Bothel, Cumbria

Bothel is a delightful rural agricultural village which has a fascinating history dating back to Roman times.

The Bothel Stone © victor de quincey
The Bothel Stone © victor de quincey

Bothel, the original name meaning 'the dwelling', lies in the parish of Bothel and Threapland and is in the Ecclesiastical district of Torpenhow.

Also known as Bothill, Boald, and as described on Christopher Saxons map of 1576, Bodell, this was because the old English used a barred (d) which was pronounced (th).

The Village Well © victor de quincey
The Village Well © victor de quincey

Early History

Close to Bothel was the Roman Fort of Caermot, which was probably used as an observation post and a signal station, as the prefix 'Caer' applied by Celtic peoples to a walled or fortified place, would imply.

The church of St. Michael Torpenhow is one of 98 churches in the Diocese of Carlisle built in the 12th century, only 6 remain unspoilt, St Michael can claim to be one of these.

The dedication to St Michael is mentioned in the will of John Corom of Bothel dated 1319 where he wished to be buried.

High House & Skiddaw View © victor de quincey
High House & Skiddaw © victor de quincey

Historic Buildings

Bothel has the privilege of preserving seven listed buildings and one monument in the village, three of these are in Bank Lane (once known as Bank Lonning or High Street).

The first is Briscoe House, where parish registers record Robert Briscoe son of John Briscoe of Bothel was baptised 1676. Next is 'High House' which still retains a beautiful thrashing barn in excellent condition.

'Sciddaw View' the third farm is another example of 17th century Cumbrian long farmhouses.

Although not listed, next to Skiddaw View at Fell View Farm are three Quarry Houses dated 1694.

Bothel Beck © victor de quincey
Bothel Beck © victor de quincey

'Swan House' the fourth listed building was originally a Coaching House and was one of two coaching houses in the village, it was known as 'The White Swan' and later as St. Bathans Lodge.

This is situated on Pinfold Green and as the name implies, until the by-pass was built in 1950, a Pinfold stood on the green.

'Bothel Hall' another grade II listed building at the north end of the village mid 18th century with 19th century alterations.

The old sluice water mill in School Lane is mentioned as far back as 1599 when an application was made by Thomas Ellys of Bothel to extend the Bothel water corn mill.

Boulder Stone © victor de quincey
Boulder Stone © victor de quincey

Cumberland Sausages

'Woodford House' was once the butcher's shop - here the original Cumberland sausage was made, and sadly the last breed of Cumberland Pig died at the farm of Mr Tom Thirwall - Bothel Craggs Farm.

Bothel Main Road © victor de quincey
Bothel Main Road © victor de quincey

Today sausages are still made and sold in Bothel at Skiddaw Farm.

Stream Running With Blood

According to Hopes Legendary Lore, at Bothel a stream rises from a well which supplies the village with water.

The proverbial 'Oldest Inhabitant' asserted that this stream ran blood on the day of King Charles's martyrdom.

The village still has three wells and the one in the centre of the village constantly runs with water.

Swan House © victor de quincey
Swan House © victor de quincey

The beck runs alongside the village running under the road at the Greyhound public house.

Opposite the Greyhound lies the 'Boulder Stone' also known as the 'Jockey Stone' which slid down from Skiddaw during the Ice Age.

Best Village Winner

The village retains its 17th century appearance and in 2007 was voted the Best Village in Allerdale and runner up in Cumbria in Bloom competition.

Description by Victor De Quincey

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