Troutbeck is in fact a line of small hamlets on the fellside - Town-End, Town-Head, High Green, Cragg, and High Fold
These hamlets wind along the fellside of the Troutbeck Valley north of Windermere towards the Kirkstone Pass.
The town is divided into three Hundreds, each of which has 600 cattle gates on the extensive common, of two acres each, and had a common bull, constable, and bridge, from which someone once wittily remarked that "Troutbeck has three hundred bulls, three hundred constables, and three hundred bridges."
Hugh Hird, the Troutbeck Giant, was a man of huge appetite and strength. At the building of Kentmere Hall he lifted a beam, which 10 men tried in vain to move. When he was sent by Lord Dacre with a message for the king, he astonished the royal household by eating a whole sheep for his dinner, having previously ordered it to be cooked for him, under the name of "the sunny-side of a wether." Source - edenlinks.co.uk
Another story has Hugh Hird getting rid of a band of marauding Reivers single handed and being rewarded by the king by being granted the right to stay in the farm that he was illegally occupying at the time.
Beatrix Potter used to live at Troutbeck Park Farm, where she bred Herdwick sheep. This is the breed shown in the picture on the left. The property, and the sheep are now the property of the National Trust. Troutbeck was designated a conservation area in the 1980's
The Troutbeck (after which the valley and the village are named)
Trout beck is one of the main sources of replenishment of Windermere. It's name comes from Old Norse and appears in documents from 1292 as "Trutebyk". The river rises between the peaks of Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag in the High Street range, at a height of about 1970 feet (600 m). From its source the Trout Beck descends some 1840 feet (560 m) in a distance of about seven miles (11 km).
Troutbeck Church (Jesus Church)
Is a lovely place to stop and contemplate the world for a while.
C of E services are held on Sundays - see notice board for more details.
The church has a long history - it is first mentioned as long ago as 1562
"1562 18 July. Whereas Troutbeck is distant and remote from the parish church of St. Martin's Windermere, the space of three myles soe that they cann neither bring the bodyes of the dead to be buryed att their parish church without their great and extraordinary cost and discommoditye nor carrye their children to be baptized without great danger of soul and bodye, nor can they by any means come to to hear Divine Service, to receive the Sacrament nor to be instructed in the word of God as becometh Christians, without their so great cost, travel, danger and incommodity, William Downham, Bp. of Chester, licenced the newly rebuilt Chapel of Jesus at Troutbeck for the celebration of the Sacraments etc., with the consent " of that worshipful man Mr. Adam Carehouse," rector of Windermere. Browne MSS. vol. III, n. 3."
From: 'Supplementary Records: Troutbeck', Records relating to the Barony of Kendale: volume 3 (1926), pp. 192-99. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=49368. Date accessed: 29 October 2006.
The current church was built in 1736 on the site of the earlier chapel and was renovated in Victorian times. It has a stained glass window which was designed by the painters Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown and was made by William Morris and Co. The churchyard is also noted for its yew trees, its 3 lych gates and its war memorial made from a single large slab of stone. In spring the churchyard is a covered in a fantastic display of daffodils.
Town End is a National Trust property - a traditional house and barn which is a fine example of typical Lakeland vernacular architecture. "Largely 17th Century it belonged to a wealthy "statesman" farming family and contains carved woodwork, books, papers, furniture and fascinating domestic implements from the past, largely accumulated by the Browne family who lived here from 1626 to 1943" (NT Guide 2007)
The barn is still part of a working farm.
The Post Office is roughly half way along the village
There are 2 wells following the spring line and built in to the wall by the side of the road, which were used by horses making their way up to the Kirkstone Pass
- St John's Well
and St Margaret's Well
There are several old buildings remaining in Troutbeck. Many have dates on them. The oldest one I have seen so far is this one.
Applethwaite Quarry on the far side of the valley is a source of Chalcopyrite and Dolomite. You can see it amongst the trees on the side of the fell in the picture on the right.
The Troutbeck Biannual Garden Trail
Every two years the village hosts a biannual garden trail. The walk along the village stopping off to view the houses and gardens is a really pleasant way to spend an hour or three, and you are helping the village at the same time.
Here is a gallery showing some of the sights. Mostly very pretty, but I thought the contrast between the 2 different types of scarecrow was interesting enough to include the crow hanging upside down near Thwaite
The Troutbeck Garden Trail
Click on a thumbnail to launch the image viewer.