Kirkoswald  Cumberland


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Kirkoswald like this:

KIRKOSWALD, a village, a township, a parish, and a sub-district in Penrith district, Cumberland. The village stands dispersedly on the sides and crown of high ground, adjoining the influx of the Raven beck to the river Eden, 6 miles ENE of Plumpton r. station, and 8 NE by N of Penrith; takes its name from Oswald, the ancient canonized king of Northumbria; was burnt in 1314 by the Scots; was once a market town; is now a polling place; and has a post office‡ under Penrith, and fairs on the Thursday before Whit-Monday and on 5 August. ...

- The township comprises 5, 000 acres. Real property, £3, 524; of which £18 are in mines. Pop., 672. Houses, 154.—The parish contains also the township of Staffield, and comprises 10, 472 acres. Real property, £7, 372. Pop., 944. Houses, 194. The property is much subdivided. A castle was built on a hill, about a ¼ of a mile E of the village, by Ranulph d'Engain; passed to Hugh de Morville, one of the murderers of Thomas à Becket; descended to the Miltons, the Dacres, and the Musgraves; was pronounced by Sandford " the fairest fabric that ever he looked upon; '' and has left some small remains. The College and Staffield Hall are now chief residences; and the former occupies the site of a college for twelve priests, which was attached to the church, and was plundered by the parliamentary troops in the civil war. A six arched bridge, erected in 1762, spans the Eden; and a one arched bridge spans Raven beck. There are paper, corn, and saw mills. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £176. * Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church stands at the base of a hill, a short way apart from the village; is approached through a fine avenue of lime trees; shows late Norman and early English characters, modified by restorations and alterations; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with two porches; was made collegiate in 1523, by T. Threlkeld; contains a tomb of Featherstonehaugh, who was beheaded in 1651; and includes a spring, which is supposed to have been formerly used for baptizing. The belfry connected with it stands on the hill above. There are an Independent chapel built in 1866, a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed national school, and charities, £26.—The sub-district contains also six other parishes and part of another. Acres, 64, 409. Pop., 5, 815. Houses, 1, 159.

Kirkoswald through time

Kirkoswald is now part of Eden district. Click here for graphs and data of how Eden has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Kirkoswald itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kirkoswald, in Eden and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 28th January 2022

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