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Aspatria, Cumberland

Historical Description

Aspatria, a small town and township, and a parish in Cumberland. The town stands on the right side of the river Ellen, adjacent to the Carlisle and Maryport railway, 7s miles NE of Maryport. It has a station on the railway, a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.), and a weekly market on Thursday. It has a local board and school board, two banks, and a flourishing agricultural college, which was considerably enlarged in 1893. Its site is the side of a hill, and its appearance that of a long straggling village. Its name is a corruption of Aspatrick or Gospatrick, and was derived from one of the Gospatricks, the first lord of Allerdale, or from the As or St Patrick (predecessor of St Kentigern, the patron saint of the church), whose name was still retained in the time of King John in Wath-Patrick-Wath, a ford on the borders of the neighbouring forest. The township bears the name of Aspatria and Brayton. In the churchyard are the stem of a pre-Norman cross and an early shrine-shaped tomb, imitating the wattle work of buildings prior to the use of worked stone, and decorated with the Triquetra, St Patrick's symbol of the Holy Trinity. A silver brooch ornamented with the same early emblem was found near Brayton. Acreage, 3550; population, 2714. The parish includes also the townships of Hayton and Mealo, and Oughterside and Allerby. The surface is hilly. Coal and red sandstone are worked. A human skeleton, 7 feet long, supposed to have been that of some great chief, buried about the second century, together with a broad sword 5 feet long, and some fine ornaments of a warrior, was found, in* 1790, beneath a barrow on Beacon Hill, an eminence about 200 yards N of the town. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; value, about £400. Patron, the Bishop of Carlisle. The church was rebuilt in 1848. Hayton was made a separate charge in 1867, and is a rectory. One of the Norman arches of the churcli is rebuilt in the clock chamber of the tower, and other earlier remains are preserved in the vestry. There are Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Baptist chapels, and small charities.

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

Administration

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

Ancient CountyCumberland 
Ecclesiastical parishAspatria St. Kentigern 
Poor Law unionWigton 
WardAllerdale below Derwent 

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


Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1660.


Churches

Church of England

St. Kentigern (parish church)

The church of St. Kentigern, rebuilt in 1846-8, is an edifice of stone, now chiefly in the Early English style, but incorporating portions of the ancient Norman church, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, vestry, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing a clock with chimes and 8 bells: the former chancel arch, a fine example of Norman work, is now built into the tower; there is also a good Norman doorway, and the font is of the same period: in the chancel is a marble tablet to Wilfrid Lawson, d. 1710, and there are various memorials to the Musgraves of Hayton, including a panelled altar-tomb with inscriptions and shields of arms, and marble tablets to Sir Richard Musgrave M.P. 3rd bart. d. 1710, and Dorothy, his wife, d. 1718; Sir Richard Musgrave bart. d. 1739; Sir William Musgrave, 6th bart. d. 1800, and Anne, his wife, d. 31 Dec. 1812; in 1906 a memorial was placed in the chancel to the late Miss Lawson, by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, 2nd bart. his wife and children, and in 1908 a stained glass window was placed in the east end of the chancel to the memory of Sir Wilfrid Lawson, 2nd bart. (d. 1906), by his wife: built into the wall of the new vestry are portions of Saxon crosses: there are 500 sittings. In the churchyard stands the shaft of an early cross of red sandstone; it is 4 feet 6 inches high, with a socket stone 30 by 26 inches, and is carved on all sides with knot-work; there are also two fragments of another cross shaft of white sandstone, carved with scrolls and interlaced ornament. The clock and chimes in the tower were presented by Mrs. Powell, widow of a former vicar.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Aspatria from the following:


Land and Property

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


Maps

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


Villages, Hamlets, &c

Brayton
Hayton and Mealo
Mealo
Oughterside and Allerby

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictAllerdale
CountyCumbria
RegionNorth West
CountryEngland
Postal districtCA7
Post TownWigton