History & Heritage


About Cartmel Village Society

The Cartmel Village Society was founded in 1993 to celebrate Cartmel’s character and charm, and to help achieve a balance between the needs of modern life and the village’s historic nature and surroundings.

In the early years the Society saw its role as ‘Conserving a Living Village,’ but this has developed to ‘preserving and celebrating the heritage of the village’, whilst ensuring it is a ‘vibrant place for people to live, work and visit.’

The Society also has a responsibility to take an independent viewpoint on any opportunities or issues of concern within the local community and to speak up or start action if and when necessary.

Some initiatives the Society has been involved with include:-

  • The production of the ‘Cartmel Village Design Statement’. This was created in 1994 to raise awareness of Cartmel as a special place, highlighting the particular distinctiveness of its character, buildings and setting.
  • The formation of a local history group – the Cartmel Peninsula Local History Society – which meets in the Village Hall on a regular basis.
  • The opening of the Gatehouse Heritage Centre in 1998. This provided background to the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the Cartmel valley. A Heritage Exhibition in 2002 explained the history of the medieval Gatehouse. The Gatehouse is now in the guardianship of The National Trust.
  • The publication in 1999 of ‘ The Cartmel Millennium Initiative’, a series of booklets on Everday Life in Cartmel from 1900 to 1950. ‘The Natural History of Cartmel’ and ‘The House Detectives’ followed.
  • The launching of the Cartmel in Bloom group in 2010. This group is now a freestanding and very successful operation. Its founding was one of several initiatives from 2009 onwards, made possible by a generous legacy to the Village Society from Ann Rowbotham, one time resident of the village. She would be very proud of the standard of floral displays in the village as well as regular efforts to keep our streets litter free.
  • The Village Society has contributed towards strategic thinking about the future of the village through involvement with The Cartmel Township Initiative and has been the main contributor to a Conservation Management Plan for the village. This now awaits adoption by South Lakes District Council.
  • Since 2009, the Society has provided more than £100,000 in support to the village. This has been of benefit to our schools, our community and our visitors.

The four principal aims of the Society are:-

  • To foster an appreciation of the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the area.
  • To encourage the preservation, protection, development, and improvement of features of historic or public interest in the Cartmel area.
  • To promote high standards of planning and architecture in Cartmel.
  • To protect its resources in such a way that enables it to carry out its present and future activities effectively.