Gosforth, Cumbria

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Coordinates: 54°25′08″N 3°26′03″W / 54.41886°N 3.43408°W / 54.41886; -3.43408

Gosforth
Parish Church, Gosforth - geograph.org.uk - 48017.jpg
Gosforth Parish Church
Gosforth is located in Cumbria
Gosforth
Gosforth
 Gosforth shown within Cumbria
Population 1,230 (2001)
OS grid reference NY0603
Civil parish Gosforth
District Copeland
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SEASCALE
Postcode district CA20
Dialling code 019467
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Copeland
List of places
UK
England
Cumbria

Gosforth is a village and civil parish in the Lake District, in the Borough of Copeland in Cumbria, England. Historically in Cumberland, it is situated on the A595 road between Whitehaven and Barrow-in-Furness. It has a population of 1,230.[1] Adjacent settlements include Whitehaven, Egremont, Ravenglass and Wasdale. It is close to Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, and just a 15 minute drive from Seascale village and beach. The Cumbrian Coast railway can be accessed at Seascale.

Viking heritage[edit]

Gosforth contains a unique collection of Norse artefacts in and around St. Mary's Church. This includes the Gosforth cross, which is the tallest and oldest Viking cross in England. Another high cross was cut down in 1789 to make a sundial base, though the "fishing stone" panel from this survives in the church. There are also two large "hogback" tombs in the church.

Gosforth Hall[edit]

Work began on Gosforth Hall, now a hotel and restaurant near St. Mary's Church, in 1658, by a local gentleman called Robert Copley. The date of completion is not clear, although the date on the coat of arms situated in the bar is 1673. Copley had previously refused to pay the royal herald for his own coat of arms and instead, made one up himself. In his history of "The Gosforth District", Dr. C.A. Parker states that Robert Copley in 1658 built "a large handsome house with orchards and gardens suitable", and Parker states that henceforth the house was named Gosforth Hall. With the hall being within the precinct of the church, it was likely that evidence of earlier occupation might be discovered. In 2005, the present owners of Gosforth Hall commissioned a small archaeological excavation within the grounds. This turned up some interesting finds indicating previous occupation on the site. This preliminary work was to be followed up in 2007 with a further excavation

Events[edit]

Gosforth is the base for two major athletic events each year, a ten mile run and associated fun run in June, and a 10 kilometre race which is on the first Tuesday in September.

There is a thriving art scene in the village, and the Gosforth and District Arts Society (GADAS) holds weekly meetings as well as a very popular art exhibition every year, over the August bank holiday in the village hall.

On the morning of 2 June 2010, professional rugby league player and farmer Garry Purdham was shot dead at a farm in the Gosforth area. Within hours, police had identified the killer as 52-year-old local taxi driver Derrick Bird, who killed eleven other people on a rampage in the area before taking his own life.[2]

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