Blennerhasset is a small, attractive village in north-west Cumbria, situated between the Lake District National Park and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It lies on the River Ellen between Carlisle and Cockermouth. It has about 100 houses centred around a village green, some dating back to the seventeenth century.

There is a small but thriving primary school with around 50 pupils from the village and surrounding area. Few villages can still boast the glorious sound of leather on willow, but you may catch the sound of a cricket match from the playing field and pavilion by the river. You can stand on the red sandstone arched bridge over the River Ellen and watch the geese and ducks – or if they’re hungry the geese are known to knock on someone’s door!

Blennerhasset has a fascinating history. It was the centre of a unique farm co-operative experiment in the nineteenth century by William Lawson. The village grew as the school, shop and houses were built or converted for farm labourers. The workers were encouraged to be part of the co-operative and received part of their wages in specially minted coins that could be spent in the village shop.

The remains of a large Roman Fort lie just outside the village, suggesting it was on an important route between Carlisle and Cockermouth. We are exploring the history of the village and hope to learn a lot more about its past.

The village lies within the Parish of Blennerhasset and Torpenhow, in the Allerdale District of Cumbria. It shares some of its facilities – the village hall and playing field – with the neighbouring village of Baggrow.

Torpenhow, locally pronounced Trepenna, is a small, nearby village of approximately 70 houses of various styles ranging from modern to stone built cottages. The village previously had a local shop, public house, school and garage but unfortunately these have long since closed with no amenities within the village anymore. There is a village hall which was rebuilt in 2003 and is used by the local community. The church is St Michael and All Angels which is a 12th century church.