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Ainstable, Cumberland

Historical Description

Ainstable, a village and a parish in Cumberland, between the Croglin and the Eden rivers, 2 miles from Armathwaite railway station, and 11 N by E of Penrith. It is divided into the High and Low quarters, and includes the hamlet of Ruckcroft. It has a post office under Kirkoswald (R.S.O.); Armathwaite is the money order and telegraph office. Acreage, 4433; population, 439. A Benedictine nunnery was founded here by William Rufus, and its site, on high ground, is now marked by a stone pillar. Nunnery, a mansion taking name from it, stands on lower adjacent ground, amid scenery which is highly picturesque, and has been sung by Wordsworth. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; value, about £320. The church was built from the Plumpton Walls, contains a tomb of John de Deutorem, and is in good condition. Dr John Leake, the founder of the Westminster Lying-in Hospital, 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 CountyCumberland 
Ecclesiastical parishAinstable with Ruckroft St. Michael 
Poor Law unionPenrith 

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

Church Records

The parish registers date from the year 1664.


Church of England

St. Michael and All Angels (parish church)

The church of St. Michael and All Angels is an ancient building of red freestone in the Norman style; it was repaired in the early part of the present century, and consists of chancel, nave, vestry, added in 1870, and a small embattled tower at the north-west, containing a clock and 2 bells: there are several handsome marble monuments to members of the Aglionby family, from 1757 to 1834; and also two effigies, representing Katherine Denton, ob. 1428, and her husband, removed hither in 1778 from. St. Cuthbert's, Carlisle. The church affords 200 sittings. In the church is a stone incised with a stepped floriated cross, a crested helmet and sword and four shields of arms of the Dentons of Cardew, former owners of the manor; round the margin is an inscription.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ainstable from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Ainstable are available from a number of sites:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Cumberland, 1615 is available on the Heraldry page.

RegionNorth West
Postal districtCA4
Post TownCarlisle