Lacy's Caves

Lacy’s Caves

Lacy’s Caves, Little Salkeld, near Penrith:

Exploring Lacy’s Caves seamlessly complements a visit to Long Meg and her daughters. A delightful circular walk effortlessly connects the two, meandering around Kirkoswold to the north and Little Salkeld to the south.

Lacy’s Caves are five chambers carved into the red sandstone cliffs above the River Eden.

The caves are very popular for visiting tourists and walkers.

Lacey's Caves

They were commissioned by Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy, who lived at Salkeld Hall from 1790. 

It is believed his servant, (a military deserter or batman), was responsible for carving out the caves. At that time, it was fashionable for wealthy landowners to have romantic ruins set within their estates.

It was built to entertain Lacy’s guests visiting nearby Salkeld Hall. It may have also been used as a wine store.

Lacy was famous for trying to blow up the stones of Long Meg Stone Circle.

Created in an age when it was fashionable to own a romantic ruin, these caves were originally surrounded by ornamental gardens.

Lacy even had a hermit in residence.

The red sandstone site is listed as a Regionally Important Geographical Site by Eden District Council.

To visit Lacy’s Caves, park in Little Salkeld and head down a farm track passing Town End Farm.

Lacy's Caves - Town End Farm

Fork right just after the farm, keeping the River Eden to your left.

You can also kayak from Langwathby which will take you down the little waterfalls towards the caves.

As mentioned earlier, a visit to Lacy’s Cavies ties in perfectly with a trip to  Britain’s third-largest stone circle called Long Meg and her Daughters.

Long Meg and her Daughters are 107 meters in diameter and one of the largest stone circles in the country.

Lacy’s Caves

The site probably dates back to around 1500 BC and was most likely created as part of some religious ritual.

As mentioned above, during the eighteenth century a local landowner, Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy, tried to blow up Long Meg with gunpowder so he could plough the field. He failed and the event was followed by a torrential thunderstorm, which locals took to ne Long Meg showing her displeasure.

A report by Durham University Archaeological Services in 2013 who surveyed the site, found evidence of hidden ditches and the possible remains of cairns or barrows in the area (something which had been identified back in the late sixteenth century.

One thing is for sure, this ancient site is well worth visiting.

If you are looking for a holiday cottage with easy access to Lacy’s caves, enquire here.


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June 3rd
(4 nights)

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