Wray Castle

Wray Castle, which stands on the west shore of Lake Windermere and approximately two miles south of the village of Ambleside, was originally built together with Wray Church in 1840 for a retired Liverpool surgeon, Dr Dawson, who used his wife’s fortune to pay for it. This is the only castle within the Lake District.

The estate, which was inherited by Dr Dawson’s nephew, Preston Rawnsley, in 1875 was rented to the Potter family in 1882 for their summer holiday. It was here that Beatrix Potter met Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who at that time had taken up the appointment of vicar at Wray Church.


Among the specimen trees of gingkoa, weeping line, wellingtonia, redwood and varieties of beech there is a mulberry tree which was planted by William Wordsworth in 1845. Although the surroundings and adjacent lakeshore are accessible and allow good views of the building and across Windermere, the castle is not normally open to visitors and therefore it would be advisable to contact the National Trust to find out the opening times and dates.

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