Simon's Penrith Page Part 2!
The Beacon Pike
On appraching Penrith, the first thing that you see is the beacon pike, on top of hill overlooking Penrith. The beacon was used as a signal to the town's people of trouble, and the people would then take refuge in the pele tower or in one of the many yards scattered around the time. Penrith had a very turbulant past, with the Scottish invaders regualrly pillaging the town, and a big fire would be lit on top of the hill to warn the people. The beacon is most famous for being used during the Spanish Armarda.
Robinson's School is situated at the end of Middlegate. The date on the door lintel is 1670, but the building is believed to be earlier. The school was set up by Willian Roberton, who on his death, left £20 per annum to be used for the education and upbringing of poor girls. Today Robinson's School is the home of the Tourist Information Ofiice and the town museum.
William Wordsworth, the well renowned English poet lived in the Lake District, and knew Penrith very well. His famous 'Ode To The Daffodils' was written on the edge of Lake Ullswater, only four miles from Penrith. He isn't a native Penrithian, being born in Cockermouth in 1770 and dying in 1850. He is buried ar Grasmere, near his home, 'Dove Cottage'. His ties with Penrith originate from the fact that his Grandparents lived here. His grandfather, William Cookson owned a house at the north end of Devonshire Street, where he lived with his wife Ann. The house used to stand where Arnison's Drapers now stands. William Wordworth and his sister Dorothy moved in with their grandparents after their mother died. His mother is buried in St. Andrew's churchyard, but the site of the grave has been lost. Whilst in Penrith he went to study at the school in what is now known as the Tudor Cafe. The building was built by Robert Bertram in 1563, and was in Wordsworth's childhood, as school run by Dame Birkett. Also attending the school was Mary Hutchinson, who later became his wife. The building is now owned by Birkett's Bakery (no relation of the school teacher).
The original grammer school stood oppostie the churchyard, and is part of the new library. The charter for the grammer school was granted in 1564 by Elizabeth I. The present building was built in 1857, and even though the grammer school is now situated near the castle, the old building was used for classes until early this century. For a while 'Mansion House' was used as rooms for the students. This building is situated to the east of the church. It was built in 1750 by the DeWhelpdale family, and Thacka Beck, the artificial stream that supplied the towns water, was for a while uncovered here.
Mr Hardman: Just a little to the right Mr Kremer!
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