“A unique carer short break holiday home in Cumbria”
Somewhere to relax and unwind and have a break!
Caldew House is a residential property owned by Gateshead Carers Association, situated within the beautiful Cumbrian countryside bordering the northern edge of the Lake District National Park. It is designed to create a truly relaxing place for our carers to unwind and enjoy a short break away from their caring roles. Fully equipped and with 4 generous sized bedrooms, the house can sleep up to 8 guests. Two large lounges and dining areas ensure that everyone has plenty of space to themselves. In addition there is a lovely garden and terrace with BBQ facilities, ready for the warmer weather.
The House enjoys an elevated position overlooking the surrounding fells and woodlands and the River Caldew, with easy access by car to the nearby villages of Caldbeck, Hesket Newmarket, Rosley and Dalston. The area is one of the more remote and lesser known parts of the Lake District, but boasts some outstanding scenery and some of the best, less frequented walking in the whole of the Lake District. The Cumbria Way also passes through the villages as well as two long distance cycle routes nearby. The nearest main town to the north is Carlisle (about 12 miles, within 30 mins drive) and to the south is Keswick (about 20 miles, within 40 mins drive).
How to Book. We are currently piloting short breaks for carers and aim to develop this service further during 2017 to be available for all carers to book one break per family per year. A break can be from one night to a whole week, depending upon availability. For further information, launch dates and availability, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Brief History
The plaque above the door of Caldew House, at Sebergham bears the initials JAL – for James and Anne Laing. They were married at the local church in December 1840, he the sixth of nine children from a Scottish family which had been stonemasons for 100 years. The couple bought a modest plot of land which, as Berry Ritchie’s history of the Company – The Good Builder states ‘was not ideal’.
It faced east and was on steep land which meant James Laing had to cut into the bank to create a level site before laying the foundations. However, it led to the beginning of a true family company as James dug gravel from the nearby riverbed to fill the foundations, while Ann and their eldest son John (senior) collected larger stones to fill the walls.
The whole project cost £175 and they lived there for nearly 20 years, also building two further cottages down the road for family members and as investments for their old age. Decreasing revenues drove the family to Carlisle in the 1860s, where James’ two eldest sons John (senior) and David were beginning to find their way in the world of work. John Laing (senior) married Sarah Wood and set up J&W Laing with his youngest brother William. He probably had no idea of the course that the Laing family business was now on.
By the time James Laing’s grandson John Laing (who would become Sir John Laing) was born in 1879, the family had long left that first Laing home, but its relevance to the Laing family and John Laing Company had not been forgotten. About 100 years later current Cumbria retirement club member Elliott Hall was sent from the Carlisle office with instructions to ‘buy Caldew House back – at all costs.’ Elliott said: “The property came up for auction and I was told to make sure that we bought it back. Thankfully, it did not end up as a bidding war and I was able to secure the property for a reasonable price.” Perhaps the powers that be had in mind the Company’s 150th anniversary in 1998. Someone was keeping an eye out to know the house was to be auctioned.
Once back in the Laing fold, the house was checked and renovated before beginning a life of charitable service. For the next 35 years, it would become a place for Officers of the Salvation Army to come and stay to recharge their batteries.
The Salvation Army did not renew its lease and while the house was empty, the JLCT took the opportunity to renovate the whole site ready for the next 167 years. The house was later extended, adding the large living areas on both floors. It was at this point that Caldew House came into the hands of Gateshead Carers (September 2015).
Caldew House is thought of fondly in the local area and a little bit of exploration of the local area can easily lead to links with the house and the Laing family who lived here. For example, a wander into the nearby St Mary’s Church will find you walking through the heavy oak door which was donated by the John Laing building firm and stands as a memorial to Sarah and Margaret Laing who were the last members of the Laing family to live in Sebergham until 1963.
Location of Caldew House:
Caldew House is located on the northern outskirts of the Lake District National Park in the village of Sebergham.