Cartmel is a village in Cumbria, England, 2.2 miles (3.5 km) north-west of Grange-over-Sands close to the River Eea. The village, once known as Kirkby in Cartmel, is the location of the 12th-century Cartmel Priory. Historically in Lancashire, since 1974 it is within the administrative county of Cumbria.
Cartmel village by the River Eea
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The place-name is first attested in the Histories of Simeon of Durham, where it appears as Ceartmel. It also appears in the Pipe Rolls of 1177. The name means "sandbank by rocky ground", from the Old Norse kartr (rocky ground) and melr.
The village has more recently become known as the "home of sticky toffee pudding".
Its racecourse hosts popular meetings two or three times a year, traditionally in Whit Week. The ancient parish was traditionally known as the Land of Cartmel – an area quite separate from the Furness peninsula. Holker Hall, associated with the Cavendish family and the Dukes of Devonshire, is within the original boundaries of the parish.
Cartmel was the favourite holiday spot of the Lancashire dialect writer and BBC broadcaster, Thomas Thompson, who authored sixteen books on Lancashire people and their communities. The frontispiece in his book Lancashire Brew is 'Cartmel from an etching by Joseph Knight', the founder of the Manchester School of Painters.
Cartmel is located 2.2 miles (3.5 km) away from the nearest town, Grange-Over-Sands. Travelling by road, it is 15.5 miles (24.9 km) to the south of Kendal, 17.1 miles (27.5 km) to the east of Ulverston, 27 miles (43 km) to the east of Barrow-in-Furness and 29.9 miles (48.1 km) to the west of Lancaster.
Cartmel is noted for the quality of its restaurants including:
- Two Michelin-starred restaurant, L'Enclume
- Rogan & Co, Michelin-starred riverside restaurant
- The Pig and Whistle
- Cavendish Arms Restaurant