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Skipton, North Yorkshire ~ Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria

Set in a loop of the River Eden, Appleby is a picturesque market town. It began as a cluster of farmsteads built by Viking settlers over a thousand years ago, aided by the old east to west Roman Road, now the A66, and a Charter of Incorporation believed to date from before 1174. Appleby rose in importance to become a flourishing market town by 1300, and granted its Market Charter by King Henry II, first of the great Plantagenet dynasty in 1174. Formerly the County Town of Westmorland, the name of the town was changed to reflect its past when Westmorland was abolished under the 1972 Local Government Act and Cumbria formed in 1974. Appleby now sits in the county of Cumbria.


A welcome from these cheery chappies - representatives of the farming undertaken in the area.


The River Eden flowing quietly through Appleby on a May afternoon. For a week in early June it becomes a seething mass of bodies - human and horses - as the Appleby Horse Fair takes place and the horses are washed in the river prior to being shown off in the town. It is probably the best known of the horse fairs attended by Romany families travelling to meet up with old friends and conduct business. It's world famous, the largest of its kind in the world and attracts a huge gypsy gathering. Its existed as a horse trading fair since 1685 under the protection of a charter granted by James II.




What a contrast, Appleby Horse Fair in full swing. Thanks to Andy Hibbert at Silver Images Photography for the use of his photograph.


Looking south along the attractive tree-lined main street of Boroughgate with the High Cross at the top outside the gates to Appleby Castle. The Castle is no longer open to the public and is a private residence.

The High Cross bears the inscription 'Retain your loyalty, preserve your rights', and dates from the 17th Century. It was once the site of a cheese market.

St Anne's Hospital, Boroughgate - these Almshouses were funded by Lady Anne Clifford and opened in 1653 for twelve sisters and a mother, and still maintained much as Lady Anne originally intended. Her concern for the many widows begging in the area, and following the example of her mother's almshouses at Beamsley near Skipton, led to the establishment of the charity. They are still used to-day by the older people of the town.


The Moot Hall dating from 1596 was the town hall for Appleby. Town councillors still continue the tradition of meeting here as they have for centuries past. Once occupied by butcher shops, the Hall now houses the Tourist Information Centre and other small shops at ground level.


A blaze of golden tulips line the path to St. Lawrence's church. The oldest part of the church dates back to the 12th century. The church was badly damaged twice during Scottish raids, but was restored by Lady Anne Clifford in 1654. In the church is a black marble monument to her in the North aisle, while her lead coffin lies in a nearby vault. Next to her Monument is an Alabaster Figure as a memorial by Lady Anne to her mother Margaret, Countess of Cumberland. The organ in the church was a gift to Appleby from Carlisle Cathedral in 1683, and contains parts dating from the 16th Century and said to be the oldest working English organ in the country.




An Orange Tip butterfly.


Looking north to the Moot Hall and St. Lawrence's Church. The Low Cross, (white pillar) is an 18th century copy of the one outside the Castle gates. The High Cross and Low Cross mark what were the boundaries of the old Appleby market. The cloisters behind the Low Cross lead through to the church and were designed by Sir Robert Smirke in 1811 a leading architect of the nineteenth century. He designed several major buildings in Cumbria including Lowther Castle and Carlisle Assizes, the Citadel.


Colourful flowers and fruit outside this greengrocer's shop. Do you think the potential customer is choosing his healthy "five a day" selection?


A final look along Boroughgate the heart of Appleby.

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All Photographs copyright David Packman © 2002 - 2009 (All Rights Reserved)