Askham, Westmorland

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Askham Bridge, River Lowther.JPG
The bridge over the River Lowther
Grid reference: NY512234
Location: 54°36’14"N, 2°45’23"W
Population: 356  (2011)
Post town: Penrith
Postcode: CA10
Dialling code: 01931
Local Government
Council: Westmorland & Furness
Penrith and The Border

Askham is a village in Westmorland; a smal place which according to the 2011 census had a parish population of 356.

The village stands on the west bank of the River Lowther (across which lie the ruins of Lowther Castle). It is in the north of the county, about five miles south of Penrith (across the border of Cumberland) and three miles east of Ullswater. It is within the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park.

Nearby, across the river, are the remains of Lowther Castle, the site of the annual Lowther Show, a three-day event of country pursuits.

Odd traditions

Many public houses, such as the 'Punch Bowl', have old beams with splits in them where coins are forced 'for luck'. This practice may be linked to examples, called 'Wish Trees', often hawthorns which are traditionally linked with fertility, as in 'May Blossom'. The trunk and branches in these cases are covered with hundreds of coins which have been driven through the bark and into the wood. The local traditions are that a wish will be granted for each of the coins so treated .[1]

Another local custom is the throwing of coins from the bridge onto a boulder that lies below the water level. Getting the coin to stay on the rock gives the thrower 'good luck'. These are examples of 'Touch Pieces'.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Askham, Westmorland)


  1. Rodger, 2006
  • Rodger, Donald, Stokes, John & Ogilve, James: 'Heritage Trees of Scotland': (The Tree Council, 2006) page 87. ISBN 0-904853-03-9