Friends of the Settlement @ Castle Hill

In 1930s, the government introduced, through The Commissioner for the Special Areas, a number of Educational Settlements, in particularly deprived areas of the country.  Cumberland was one of those areas and Maryport, with an unemployment rate of  60%, was the chosen location.  The purpose of these Educational Settlements was to try to alleviate the deprivations of the people through access to educational courses and to the arts and crafts.  Castle Hill, owned by the Senhouse family, but then unoccupied, was identified as a suitable building and duly purchased in 1937. 

With the exception of a few brief periods it has been fulfilling that role ever since.

In the 80 years since its establishment, The Settlement can justifiably claim to have been the social, cultural and educational hub of the community.  The building has been owned and run by the Castle Hill Trust since January 2018’

We endeavour to fulfil our remit by

  • Weekly activities open to all, regardless of age, ability, etc., at minimal or no cost.

  • Monthly events, with guest speakers – local authors, etc.

  • Special events, such as our

    • 2018 ‘When Percy met Norman’

    •  4-day ArtFest; our

    • 2019 ‘Over Here, Over There’ 4-day event, and our

    • Performance of ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist’ this autumn

We receive no regular income from other organisations, so are totally dependent on successful one-off grant applications, room hire and rent from several rooms that we let to local starter businesses.


Becoming a Friend will help to support us in more than just financially. Having a Friends section will lend us credibility when making grant applications. We will have a group of people whom we know will spread the word about us. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways of bringing in new people.

Being a Friend will entitle you to

  • 10% discount on admission prices for our Special events

  • For events for which prior booking is required, you will be able to reserve seats and pay on the door, rather than sending a cheque.

  • You will also receive

    • A quarterly newsletter

    • a monthly ‘What’s On’ schedule

    • an invitation to an annual ‘Thank you’ event, where you can meet other Friends, get a personal report of what has been happening and make suggestions for improving our service.

The Cost

Annual membership costs £10 and can be paid in cash, BACS or cheque.

Please email your details (or queries) to  and put ‘Friends’ in the subject box