Built in 1733, King Garth is also known as The Old Customs House, reflecting its role in these fraught times of smuggling. Its strategic position on the banks of The Eden served as the perfect lookout for a bailiff employed by Carlisle Corporation to protect the very important salmon fishery. The plaques on the building which commemorate the visits by Mayors date back to the 1700s. These visits no doubt involved indulgent banquets centring around freshly caught salmon
I grew up on the opposite side of the river. On family walks along the Eden I was always fascinated by the house on the other side sited in such an amazing position. My sister and I would fantasize about living in this magical place.
In 2010, when I returned to Cumbria I was amazed to hear that this house was for sale. It was a ruin and everyone told me I was mad..... I probably was a little! But I soon realised that I wasn’t alone in my love of this house, everyone I met from the surrounding villages had a tale to tell about this iconic place. King Garth is for sharing - with locals, (we have an annual barbecue), with wildlife and with people like you.
The aim when renovating King Garth was to celebrate and embrace its history. King Garth is off grid and has no running water. It is furnished in a style to reflect it’s history. It isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea’: you have to drive a mile down a muddy lane, there is no hot shower, no electric lighting, and a compost toilet. BUT we offer beautiful evenings of candle light, log burner, hot tub under the stars bathing in the river, and a cheeky little solar powered fridge which works fine when the sun shines, conveniently coinciding with the need for cold beer!
My priority with King Garth and the land attached was to manage in a way to protect the abundant wildlife.
You will be astounded by the din at dawn and dusk!
Inside the house there is an owl box where one summer a pair of barn owls successfully raised chicks. Since then a kestral frequents the box and has twice laid there.
This part of the Eden is tidal so both estuarine and river species co exist. Kingfishers and otters are often spotted And even the occasional seal!
The bird feeders are frequented by tree sparrows, yellow hammers, wood peckers, nut hatches and in winter red poll.
There is also a pond where in summer dragonflies and damsels dart back and forth.
Have you ever fancied yourself as an alpaca owner? Are your kids mad for them? Well here is your chance to pretend.
The paddock at King Garth is summer residence of my alpacas. These fascinating and friendly animals will make your stay really special always providing entertainment. You are welcome to help feed them and as they are halter trained I can even arrange for you to take them on a walk.
Imagine the scene. You are sitting in the comfort of King Garth gazing out at the Eden and you see the salmon, sea trout or brown trout rising. You grab your rod and waders and within minutes you are casting across one of the best rivers in England.
Fishing tuition can be arranged.
Day rods or rods for the duration of your stay can be purchased. Some equipment is available for use.