In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Egremont like this:
EGREMONT, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district in Whitehaven district, Cumberland. The town stands on the river Eden, at the terminus of a railway from Whitehaven, 2¾ miles SE of St. Bees, and 6 S by E of Whitehaven. It is thought, by some, to date from the times of the Romans; it is supposed to take its name from two Latin words, signifying "the mount of sorrow; " and it has remains of a Norman castle, believed to occupy the site of some previous fort. Its appearance, as seen from vantage-grounds on the E, is picturesque. ...
It consists chiefly of one long spacions street; and many of its houses have piazzas, with wooden supports, and present an antiquated aspect. The castle stands on a rising ground, overlooking the Ehen; bears marks of high antiquity and characters of great strength; and is supposed to have been built by William de Meschines, first lord of the barony of Copeland, soon after the Norman conquest. The keep of it is the chief part now standing; the exterior wall shows ten courses of herring-bone work; the gateway-arch has the horse-shoe form, and is groined; and three other arches remain, but have the pointed form. A tradition, relating to incidents in the history of the castle's proprietors at the time of the Crusades, is embodied in Wordsworth's "Horn of Egremont Castle." The town was anciently a borough, sending members to parliament; but was disfranchised, at its own request, in the time of Edward I. It is now a polling-place; and it has a post office‡ under Whitehaven, a railway station, two chief inns, a parish church, and two dissenting chapels. The church is an old edifice, much modernized, with a circular centre and flat wings. A weekly market is held on Saturday; fairs are held on 17 Feb. and 19 Sep.; manufactures of linens, checks, sailcloth, and paper are carried on; and business is done in connexion with neighbouring mines. The town gave the title of Earl, now extinct, to the family of Wyndham. Pop., 2, 511. Houses, 505.The parish comprises 2, 708 acres. Real property, £15, 759; of which £4, 183 are in mines. Pop. in 1851, 2, 049; in 1861, 3, 481. Houses, 679. The increase of population arose from the opening of iron ore pits and the erection of flax mills. The manor belongs to General Wyndham. There are tumuli and a small Druidical circle. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £249.*- Patron, Lord Leconfield. Charities, £11.The sub-district contains also six other parishes and a chapelry. Acres, 37, 440. Pop., 10, 440. Houses, 1,884.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Egremont has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Copeland. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Egremont and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Egremont, in Copeland and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd May 2013
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