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MUNCASTER CHASE

 

 

Muncaster Chase is a former vicarage standing on the edge of Muncaster Fell, above the old fishing port of Ravenglass.

Built during the mid 19th Century from the distinctive, pink granite peculiar to Eskdale, the house commands breathtaking views of Lower Eskdale from amongst the trees and shrubs of its beautiful semi-wild garden.

Inside, the proportions are generous - high ceilings and large windows give a sense of space and light and its magnificent sweeping staircase speaks eloquently of an age when houses were built to be more than just utilitarian living spaces.

The pleasantly furnished waiting room/lounge enjoys a view of the secluded "secret garden" at the rear of the house, where patient observation may be rewarded with a glimpse of a red squirrel or of one of the many less-than-common birds that have made the garden their home, including greater spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, siskins, goldfinches and jays. The sudden, panicking departure of the small birds on the table will probably signal the arrival on the scene of the resident sparrowhawk.

The view across Eskdale

The treatment room looks out over the old sunken garden to the magnificent vista of Lower Eskdale - rivalling the more famous view from the terrace of the neighbouring Muncaster Castle. If you're lucky, you may see the buzzards circling below you in the valley.

 

The garden itself is a wildlife haven. In the spring it is awash with bluebells and daffodils. Crabapples, cherries, apples and horse chestnut blossom simultaneously. As the Chase is part of the extensive Muncaster Castle estate, it is unsurprising to find exotic azaleas blooming along the front drive. Later, wild roses and mock orange appear, followed by blackberries and - if you know where to look - bilberries.

Everywhere are the remnants of a once magnificent formal garden, returned gracefully to the wild. Whilst parts of it are being reclaimed, Centre staff and clients have unanimously agreed that much of the "wilderness" should be retained, to provide a safe haven for the animals who, after all, were here before us …

NEW! - You can take a virtual tour of the Centre and its grounds by clicking on the link below ...

Virtual Tour of Muncaster Chase and garden.

(The tour was very generously donated by Rob Merrett of Pulse Business Solutions. Please see our "Links" page for more information on them.)

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