Orton Cumbria

Local History near Orton

Visitors to Orton wishing to explore local history have a wide choice ranging from a nearby stone circle to Hadrian's wall on the Cumbrian border with Scotland. Below is just a small number of suggestions that may be of interest. More information can be found at Orton and Tebay Local History Society and Ravenstonedale Parish History Group.

Elizabeth Gaunt (nee Fothergill) was the last woman to be burnt at the stake on October 4th 1685. She was the daughter of Anthony Fothergill of Brownber and lived at Tower House, next to Brownber Hall. An altar window in St Oswad's Church, Ravenstonedale, is dedicated to her.

Gamelands Stone Circle (grid ref NY640082) can be found a short distance from Orton.

Gilbertine excavations in the grounds of St Oswald’s Church in nearby Ravenstonedale have revealed a small monastic house established by the Gilbertine Order which was founded about the year 1131 by Gilbert of Sempringham in Lincolnshire.

Stainmore Railway, closed in 1962 and now dismantled, was used to transport minerals between Tebay and Darlington. The line passed a short distance from Orton and the old Ravenstonedale station, now a private house, still remains in Newbiggin-on-Lune.

Disused lime kilns, used to convert limestone (calcium carbonate) into lime (calcium oxide), can be found throughout this region of Cumbria. There are excellent examples in nearby Smardale.

Pendragon Castle, according to legend, was built by Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur. It is situated in Mallerstang, a very picturesque valley which is a pleasant drive away across the local fells.