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Bassenthwaite, Cumberland

Historical Description

Bassenthwaite, a village, a parish, and a lake in Cumberland. The village stands on the NE side of the lake, opposite to and about 3 miles from Bassenthwaite Lake railway station, 7 miles NNW of Keswick, under which it has a post and money order office; telegraph office, Bassenthwaite Lake railway station. The parish is divided into two constablewicks, High-side and Low-side. Acreage, 6915; population, 541. The surface is highly diversified and picturesque, ranging from the summit of Skiddaw to the meadows on the lake. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £190 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle. The parish church was restored in 1874, and a handsome chapel of ease built in 1878. There are small charities. The lake is in the basin of the Derwent river; commences 3 miles NW of the foot of Derwent Water; extends 4 miles north-north-westward, with a mean breadth of ¾ of a mile; and has a surface elevation of 226 feet above the level of the sea. Its bosom is not gemmed with any island; its head is flat and open, but looks away to the mountains round Derwent Water; its W side is flanked by a range of wooded fells, mostly rising from the water's edge; its foot is screened by vale and slope, going up at 3 miles distance to Binsey Hill; and its E side is flanked by the grand skirts and shoulders of Skiddaw, crowned at 5½ miles' distance by that mountain's summit. Pike and perch abound in the lake, and salmon pass through it to the Upper Derwent.

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 parishBassenthwaite St. Bridget 
Poor Law unionCockermouth 
WardAllerdale below Derwent 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms dates from the year 1603; marriages, 1687; and burials, 1573.


Church of England

St. Bridget (parish church)

The parish church of St. Bridget, restored in 1874, at a cost of £1,000, stands near the margin of the lake, and is an ancient edifice of stone, in the Norman style, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch, and a turret containing a clock and one bell. The east window and two others are stained, and were erected to members of the Spedding family. In the church remains the iron frame of the ancient hour-glass. There are 150 sittings.

St. John's Chapel (parish church)

St. John's chapel of ease, near the village, was built in 1878, at a cost of £6,000, and is an edifice of mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, and a turret with spire at the south-west corner, containing 5 hemisperical gongs; the stained east window and oak reredos were erected in 1900 by Mr. and Mrs. Rathbone, of Bassenfell: the clock was made and fixed by Mr. T. M. Hartley, the chimes, striking the quarters, being supplied by Warner and Co. of London. There are sittings for 205 persons.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bassenthwaite from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Bassenthwaite 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 districtCA12
Post TownKeswick