John Peel, the famous huntsman, was born and died at Caldbeck in the Lakes. His family’s elaborate tombstone can be seen in the Caldbeck churchyard. John Woodcock Graves, owner of a woollen mill in the village, composed a song “D’ye ken John Peel?” which made John Peel famous. However, it only became well known when set to it’s present tune by the choirmaster of Carlisle Cathedral, William Metcalfe. It has now virtually become the county’s anthem.
John Peel, who was one of thirteen children, was said to be a rough and tough character who spent every available minute hunting with his hounds, or celebrating with his followers. It is also said that the present day Blencathra foot pack descended from the pack that John Peel hunted with.