Exterior Appleby Castle

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Appleby Castle, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria © Historic England AA98/08320 See the List entry

Appleby Heritage Action Zone

Restoring and reviving Appleby as a tourist attraction to benefit the local economy and the people who live and work there.

Appleby in Cumbria has a rich heritage as a market town, dating back to the Middle Ages. Both the Castle and St Lawrence's Church were in existence by 1120, and the town was granted its first royal charter, giving special rights to the residents, in 1176. The annual Appleby Horse Fair, a major cultural gathering which attracts thousands of people every June, was founded in 1685.

Much more recently the town was devastated by the major winter floods of 2015/16. People's homes and businesses and the local economy were badly affected. A number of buildings were damaged and landslides closed the Settle to Carlisle railway line northwards for over a year.

Stone arch bridge over river Eden
St Lawrence's Bridge over the River Eden at Appleby in 1898 © Historic England CC78/00205

How the Appleby Heritage Action Zone will help

Since the flooding, Appleby has been designated a Conservation Area at Risk and several buildings feature on the Heritage at Risk Register. Tourism is one of the towns' major industries but Appleby had suffered from a decline in visitor numbers in recent years; visitor numbers have bounced back somewhat since the flooding, but boosting tourism further is a major ambition.

The Heritage Action Zone will focus on restoring and reviving Appleby as a tourist attraction, benefitting the local economy and the people who live and work there.

Actions will include:

  • Improving the historic environment and repairing a number of listed buildings, including the White Hart Hotel and work on the Keep at Appleby Castle
  • Boosting tourism through a series of projects to showcase the town's rich heritage, including a town trail
  • Engaging local people through initiatives like Heritage Open Days and surveying the town's listed buildings
View of Moot Hall, 63-66 Boroughgate, Appleby
Moot Hall, 63-66 Boroughgate, Appleby © Historic England DP174355

The Partnership Team are:

Historic England, Appleby Town Council and Eden District Council

Ready for Rain Project

You can now follow a real-life property renovation to make a sandstone house ‘ready for rain’.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability are refurbishing a terraced house in Appleby to make it resilient to extreme weather, including flooding.

Find out more

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