High above Penrith, to the North of the town, peeping over the tops of the plantation, Penrith Beacon can just about be seen. The current pyramidal building dates from 1719, and is built on the site of earlier beacons erected to warn of impending attacks from across the border.
Above. A view of the Beacon from Penrith Castle.
There has been a beacon on this site from as early as 1296, be that a structure holding a fire or a building. Documents from the mid 1400s detail the beacon being used to communicate with another at Dale Raughton near Kirkoswald, around 7 miles to the North. Penrith Beacon could also communicate with Carlisle Castle and a beacon situated on Orton Scar. These days the beacon would be pretty useless, as it is surrounded by trees that equal or exceed its highest point. When the beacon was in use, the hill side upon which it sits would have been treeless.....today, the Earl of Lonsdale has a plantation on the hill sides.
Detailed in this pamphlet, is information on walks around Penrith, together with a map of the walk to the summit of Beacon Hill.