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Orton, Westmorland

Historical Description

Orton, a small market-town and a parish in Westmorland. The town stands near a small tributary of the river Lune, 3 miles N of Tebay railway station, and 8½ SW by S of Appleby; is supposed to be a place of great antiquity; consists of a market-place, a square, and several small streets, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Tebay (R.S.O.) A weekly market is held on Wednesday, and several fairs for cattle and one for earthenware, called the " Pot Fair," are held during the year. The parish contains also Raisbeck, Longdale, Bretherdale, Shap Wells, Tebay, and part of Birkbeck Fells, besides several hamlets. Acreage, 24,513, of which 127 are water; population, 1847. The parish returns three members to the district council for the union of the E ward of Westmorland, and has a parish council of nine members and a chairman. The Old Hall was built by the Birkbeck family, whose name is probably derived from the river Birkbeck, which for some distance flows through a part of the parish into the river Lune. Orton Hall is the seat of the Burn family, and the old hall is now a farmhouse. The general surface is very hilly. Orton Scar, in the N part of the parish, is a picturesque height, and was formerly crowned with a beacon, in a chain of beacon communication along a great extent of country. The rocks include limestone, white and red sandstone, and traces of lead and copper ores. There are an ancient British caim, a Druidical circle, and remains of several ancient camps and earthworks, and Roman coins have been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £226 with residence. The church belonged formerly to Conishead Priory; is ancient, and was thoroughly restored in 1877; and has a chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, and a massive embattled tower. Population of the ecclesiastical parish, 828. Tebay was formed into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1884. Population, 1019. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a Primitive Methodist mission room, a temperance hall, an endowed school, a market-house, a police station, and several charities. Richard Burn, author of the " Justice of Peace," was vicar, and Bishop Barlow was a native.

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 parishOrton All Saints 
Poor Law unionEast ward 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Orton from the following:

Land and Property

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