Holker History

The fascinating past of the Holker Estate dates back to the beginning of the sixteenth century, when the core of the Estate was acquired by the Preston family following the dissolution of the Monasteries.

From then until the present day Holker has been the home of just three families; Preston, Lowther and Cavendish, being passed by inheritance through the family line, with each generation leaving a legacy for the next. The Cavendish family acquired the Estate in 1756 when it was inherited by Lord George Augustus Cavendish.  It thereafter entered the ownership of the Dukes of Devonshire and was gifted in the late 1920’s by the 9th Duke of Devonshire to his brother, Lord Richard Cavendish.  Lord Richard was the grandfather of the present Lord Cavendish.

The Estate is now principally owned by a series of Trusts with the Group’s various businesses operating predominantly from the Estate’s landholding.  The scale and diversity of those operations has increased dramatically in recent years and includes quarrying, house building, caravan parks, farming operations and Cartmel Racecourse.  The Holker Group also operates an Estate Agency and an Aggregates business as joint ventures. Around 300 people are employed by the Group with almost all of them living locally in South Cumbria.