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Dacre, Cumberland

Historical Description

Dacre, a township and a parish in Cumberland. The township lies on the Dacre Beck, 4½ miles SW by W of Penrith, and 3 from Penruddock station on the Cockermouth, Keswick, and Penrith railway. It has a post office under Penrith; money order and telegraph office, Pooley Bridge; and gives the title of Baron to the family of Brand. The parish contains also the villages of Stainton, Soulby, Newbiggin, and Great Blencow. Acreage, 7397, of which 99 are water; population of the civil parish, 942; of the ecclesiastical, 956. The manor belonged to the Dacres of Dacre, and passed to the Hasells of Dalemain. The family of Dacre is merged in that of the Howards of Greystoke Castle. Dacre Castle, the seat of the Dacres, was converted into a farmhouse, and is represented now by four square embattled towers with connecting walls. The Dacres are said to have acquired their title " of Dacre," originally D'Acre, from the exploits of one of them at the siege of Acre in Palestine, under Coeur de Lion; but it is a doubtful tradition, the place having been known by its present name in the time of Athelstane, in whose reign a congress was held here. An ancient monastery stood here, mentioned by Bede under the name of " Dacor," and Athelstane in 930, after achieving a victory in the neighbourhood, received in the monastery the homage of the Cumbrian and Scottish kings. His victory was sung in a Saxon ode which is still extant. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £275 with residence. The church is a very old one, beautifully restored in 1874 at the expense of the county as a memorial to the late E. Hasell, Esq., J.P., D.L., of Dalemain, and contains monuments of Hasells, Salmonds, Parkins, Troutbecks, and others. There are four roughly carved stone figures in the churchyard representing bears and lions clasping each a rugged staff, probably originally on the castle.

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 parishDacre St. Andrew 
Poor Law unionPenrith 

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

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 Dacre from the following:

Land and Property

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


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

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Great Blencow
Newbiggin (Dacre)

Visitations Heraldic

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

RegionNorth West
Postal districtCA11
Post TownPenrith