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Gilsland, Cumberland

Historical Description

Gilsland, an ecclesiastical district in Cumberland, formed out of the ancient parish of Lanercost. Since 1858 Gilsland and Over Denton have formed a consolidated parish by order in council. The river Irthing and the Poltross Burn separate the parish from Northumberland. The scenery is beautiful, and diversified by the surrounding moorlands. The chief hotel is The Shaws,; situated on an eminence near the Spa; it is 610 feet above the sea-level. The Shaws Hotel is a grand and imposing edifice, with very extensive and superior accommodation. There are several other hotels. As a health resort the district cannot be surpassed; and places of great antiquarian interest are numerous. The situation is near the Roman Wall, 8 miles NE from Brampton, and 17½ E from Carlisle on the N.E.E. Conveyances are numerous, and charges moderate. It was at Gilsland that Sir Walter Scott met with Miss Carpenter, whom he married at St Mary's Church, Carlisle. Mumps Hall in Over Denton is associated with the Meg Merrilees of " Guy Mannering," Meg's grave is in Over Denton churchyard. The church at Gilsland is modern; that at Over Denton is Saxon. The latter is one of the smallest in the kingdom; value of benefice, £170. Population, 365.

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 
Civil parishLanercost Abbey 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Gilsland from the following:

Land and Property

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


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

Visitations Heraldic

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

RegionNorth West
Postal districtCA8
Post TownBrampton