Wreay Village


The name Wreay probably comes from a Norse word meaning “bend in the river”. Its site is based on an aquifer that has been used since at least Roman times. Excavations in the churchyard uncovered a tiled watercourse that once took the water all the way to Carlisle Cathedral. Village records go back to 1319. Wreay is famous for its Twelve Men – a self-electing body dating back to 1664 that was responsible for assisting with the welfare of villagers. The original 12 were farmers and landowners who expressed concern about the state of the village chapel. They gave some of their rents for its repair. Wreay’s Twelve Men have met annually at the Plough Inn since  it was builty and still continue to meet once a year, having their traditional supper in the Plough Inn on Candlemas Day.
St Mary’s Church was not Sarah’s only creation. The Chapel of Rest, which stands beside Wreay cemetery, has its own fascinating story. Built in 1835 as a trial run for St Mary’s, Sarah created an ‘exact copy’ of St Piran’s Oratory near Perranporth in Cornwall. The ruins of the ancient chapel of St Piran had just been uncovered from the drifting sands. The discovery was reported nationally and appealed to Sarah’s antiquarian interest.

For many years the Chapel of Rest had no purpose and needed repair and maintenance. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant the building has been transformed and opened in September 2016 into the Sarah Losh Heritage Centre, a visitor centre telling the fascinating story of Wreay, St Mary’s and the Losh family; a small meeting room for local and regional groups; an alternative classroom; a creative studio for art, photography or literary groups; an exhibition space; a space for simple services.

The Centre, which is suitable for all ages, is open every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm and is free to visit. It is located just to the north of St Mary’s Church on the Carlisle road and car parking is available. The postcode of the Sarah Losh Heritage Centre is CA4 0RJ.

There are two guided walks – the Sarah Losh Heritage Walk and the Wreay Woods Walk – available at the Centre and St Mary’s or download copies here.

Click here to download the Sarah Losh Heritage Trail Guide (485kB PDF)

Click here to download the Wreay Woods Walk Guide (518kB PDF)

You can follow the river Petteril from Wreay to Carlisle: Download Route Here

St Mary’s church in Wreay




Places of Interest

St. Mary's Church www.stmaryswreay.org

Sarah Losh Heritage Centre www.stmaryswreay.org/sarah-losh-heritage-centre/

Trip Adviser - The Plough Inn

Wreay Woods - Cumbria Wild Life Trust

Millers Walk through Wreay http://www.edenriverstrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/Wreay.pdf

Places to Stay

Crossroads House - Ensuite B & B   www.crossroadshouse.co.uk

Hall Hills Lakedistrict Luxury Holiday Cottages  www.hallhills.co.uk

Ghyll House Farm & Campsite Wreay  www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/reviews.asp?revid=9198

Travelodge Hotel - Carlisle M6   www.travelodge.co.uk

Dalston Hall Hotel www.dalston-hall-hotel.co.uk

Thornfield Camping Cabins http://www.thornfieldcampingcabins.co.uk


 Suziebou Gift Shop www.suziebou.co.uk

Michael King Jewllery  www.kingjewellery.co.uk

Wreay Church Of England Primary School www.wreayschool.co.uk

Carlisle Race Course carlisle.thejockeyclub.co.uk

Hill Walk Tours  http://www.hillwalktours.com/hiking-england/hadrians-wall-path-overview