Carleton village

Carleton village

Carleton used to be a separate village or small hamlet one mile east of Penrith, Cumbria, England. Today, it is a rural suburb in an area of Penrith that has seen the most growth of housing in the past 30 years.

The name 'Carleton', originates from Old English 'ceorl' or carle, charle, meaning farmer or free peasant and 'ton' a ville or settlement. The name Carleton, Carlton or Charlton is quite common in England. The nearest other example being the village of Carleton on the outskirts of Carlisle.

Carleton Village itself is a small line of houses along one side of the A686 road that forms part of the boundary of the town's built up area; at the junction of the A686 and Carleton Road (formerly the A66 road leading down to Frenchfield) is an early period building that until 2004 was the Cross Keys Inn (latterly the Carleton Inn).

On the other side of the A686 and to the west of Carleton Road is the large High Carleton housing estate which was started in the 1960s and is still growing. The estate is subdivided into the Frenchfield Way/Gardens area, the original High Carleton area, Carleton Park or Parklands, Carleton Meadows and Carleton Heights most of the streets in this area are named after trees or other plants eg: Oak Road, Sycamore Drive, Juniper Way. A small stream runs through the estate. Oak Road connects Carleton with the neighbouring estates of Meadow Croft and Scaws. At the junction of Oak Road and Ash Road is a nursery school.

To the west of High Carleton is Winters Park where Penrith Rugby Union Football Club has its ground and the Carleton Hall Gardens estate.

Carleton Hall is the headquarters of the Cumbria Constabulary, but once was the home of the Carleton Family, the last of which died in the eighteenth-century and during the first half of the twentieth-century it was the home of the Carleton-Cowper family. The northern part of Carleton Hall's grounds are now divided between the Pategill housing estate and the Penrith Rugby Club. The manor of Carleton was held as a sub-manor of the larger manor or Honour of Penrith.

In years gone by Carleton was a prosperous hamlet, boasting Sir Thomas Carleton as a notable celebrity. The Cross Keys Pub was a stopping off point for travellers on both the Appleby road through to Stainmore (A66) and the A686 Alston road. One mile from the centre of Penrith, Carleton at one stage had a Reading Room in the centre of the village and records show that the community here had annual harvest festivals and church services (possibly held in the Reading Room) or a makeshift woodern Chapel (location unidentified) served by the Parish Church of St. Andrews, Penrith. In more recent times, prior to the development of High Carleton, the well-known Penrith greengrocery shop, Kerrs, used the land lying in present day Frenchfield Way as its greenhouse produce fields. In those days the red sandstone walls on either side of Carleton Road leading uphill to the present day Oak Road junction were higher.

The only present day business in Carleton Village is Carleton Hall Farm, originally the farm tenants of the estate of Carleton. Today, the Carleton Hall Farm Shop provides both locally grown produce from the fields lying around the hamlet and other local produce from Lakeland farms and bakeries. Opened in 2000, it now boasts a vibrant trade serving both local residents of Penrith and district as well as attracting people who are visitors to the area.

At Frenchfield just south of Carleton Village towards Brougham Castle is the Hunter Hall private prepartory school and new Eden District Council-owned sports pitches.

Carleton Hill, now threatened with the aggrandisement of the expanding town periphery of Carleton Heights housing estate in recent years is a quiet attractive pocket on the eastern fring of Penrith Beacon plantation, below Roundthorn, the location of Roundthorn Country House Hotel. Carleton Hill Road links Carleton Village and the A686 with Beacon Edge, a road which begins off Salkeld Road in the Fair Hill area of Penrith and ends at the junction with the A686 at Barbary Plains, opposite Whins Pond near Edenhall to the east of Carleton.

The Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope's mother lived for a while at a house called Carleton Hill (not be confused with Carleton Hall) just off the Alston road (A686). He is credited with introducing the ubiquitous red pillar box and indeed, located in the side of the old Cross Keys Inn is a red post box built into the wall is still used by Royal Mail.


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