The Watson Hall (formerly known as The Watson Institute), was erected in 1898, at a cost of £1,500 and was given to the village as a Public Hall, Free Library and reading room by James Proctor Watson, Esq., who also supplied 700 volumes to the library. Papers and periodicals were supplied by Lady Carlisle.
JP Watson was the son of John Watson who in his youth travelled to India and with his brother William made their fortunes and returned to Cumbria.
William purchased Holme Eden, the former Dixon mansion at Warwick Bridge, in 1875, and John built Gelt Hall as his residence at Castle Carrock.
Both men are commemorated by stained-glass windows in the church
As a reminder of the benefactor, hanging on the wall of the main hall is a large watercolour of The John Watson Building, Bombay, showing Watson’s Hotel soon after completion.
On the mount of the picture is an inscription written by JP Watson: “This building was designed in London for John Watson of Gelt Hall by Messrs Ordish and Le Febre.”
The Watson Hall is now a Grade II listed building and is used as the Village hall for the local community. #Castle_Carrock #Cumbria #Eden_Valley #greattrailscouk #Historic_Building #Village_Hall #Watson_Hall