Dacre Village near Ullswater

As you enter the village Dacre Castle comes into view. Edward 11 granted Lord Dacre the licence to build a fortified castle in 1307. The castle remained in the Dacre family until after the death of Lord Dacre, Earl of Sussex, who lived an extravagant life at Court having married an illegitimate daughter of Charles 11. The castle and extensive lands were purchased in 1715 from his Trustees by Sir Christopher Musgrave. Whose daughter Julia married Edward Hasell, when he transferred the Dacre lands to his son-in-law. Since that time the castle has remained part of the Dalemain Estates. The castle is a private house and is not open to the public.

The village has a delightful little church St Andrew that is very closely connected to the Hasell family. There are many family memorials inside, not least of which is a delightful window in the chancel engraved by Sir Lawrence Whistler, and dedicated to the memory of Mrs Sylvia McCosh of Dalemain. The new pipe organ is also dedicated to Mrs McCosh: before her death in 1991 she was instrumental in starting the campaign to replace the 19th century organ that had been removed in the 1970s. Following extensive fundraising the new organ was finally installed in 2002. In the churchyard stand four stone bears one at each corner of the church.

The lock on the south door of the church is one of Lady Anne Clifford’s (note the ‘AP’ for Anne Pembroke). She made presents of locks to many people and properties in the area– all of which were made by Dent of Kirkby Stephen and this must be one of the largest. There is another Lady Anne Clifford lock on the front door of Dalemain, which was in fact in use until just a few years ago.

A further remnant of days gone by is the village’s 18th century coaching inn, The Horse & Farrier.