The small, ancient village of Great Urswick continues to have two very old pubs, the Derby Arms, seen above and the General Burgoyne.  Within, and to varying degrees, both have retained their character and speak to their rural heritage, but around both the village has changed.  Some years ago the village as a whole was assessed for its worthiness as a designated conservation area but, understandably, it failed on account of an unacceptable number of developments which are so significantly out of character with the old village, gifted as it is with a splendid geomorphological setting around its rare marl tarn.  The criticism also extended to the incongruous nature of modifications to some of the old properties.  It can easily appear that rather than such an unflattering, but sadly honest assessment bringing about a determination to address and reverse the decline in rural character, its message is already lost.  Are the villages of old now fated to receive a drip-feed of ubiquitous urban character elements rather than a sympathetic assertion of local individuality which perpetuates their own distinctive and ancient rural character?

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