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Kirkby Thore, Westmorland

Historical Description

Kirkby Thore, a village, a township, and a parish in Westmorland. The village stands on the river Eden, at the influx of the Troutbeck stream, and on the Eden Valley railway, 2½ miles from the boundary with Cumberland, and 4¼NW by N of Appleby; is a very ancient place; took its affix name of Thwe either from a temple dedicated to the Scandinavian god Thor, or from the old British word for a tower; and has a station on the railway, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Penrith. A place in the vicinity, called High Burwens, is believed to be the Roman station Brovonacse, on the Maiden Way, and has furnished many Roman relics, including coins, urns, altars, and fragments of various buildings. Burwens Hill, also in the neighbourhood, is believed to have had a Roman out-camp, on a way which went over Cross Fell to Bewcastle. The township comprises 2502 acres; population, 430. The parish contains also the townships of Temple Sowerby and Milbourn, and comprises 11, 700 acres; population, 1031. The manor belonged once to the Whelps of Whelp Castle, passed to the Whartons, and belongs now to the Tuftons. The ancient manor-house, dating from the 15th century, is now used as a farmhouse. Whelp Castle is supposed to have been built out of the Roman station. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £420 with residence. Patron, Lord Hothfield. The church is Early English, in good condition, has a tower, and contains a brass in memory of the Dalstons, and memorial windows of the Nicholson and Heelis families. The bell is stated to be the largest in the county, and was brought from Shap Abbey by the last abbot of that place on his becoming rector of Kirkby Thore. It is of pre-Refor-mation date, and has the inscription "Sancta Maria, miserere nobis." The vicarages of Temple Sowerby and Milbourn are separate benefices. There are a Wesleyan chapel and some small charities.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyWestmorland 
Ecclesiastical parishKirkby Thure or Thore St. Michael 
Poor Law unionEast ward 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kirkby Thore from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Westmorland is available to browse.