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Lanercost or Lanercost Abbey, Cumberland

Historical Description

Lanercost or Lanercost Abbey, an ecclesiastical parish in Cumberland, on the rivers Irthing and King, the Roman wall, and the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, near Low Eow railway station, 2¼ miles NE of Brampton. It comprises the townships of Askerton, Burtholrne, Kingwater, and Waterhead, each of which is a civil parish, but only one of them, Kingwater, has a population necessitating a parish council. There is a post office at Kirkcambeck, under Carlisle; money order and telegraph office, Brampton. Population, 1167. The manor and much of the land belong to the Earl of Carlisle. About two-thirds of the surface are pasture. Much of the scenery is very beautiful. An Augus-tinian priory was founded here in 1169 by Robert de Valli-bus, Lord of Gilsland; was visited by Edward I. in 1280, suffered devastation by the Scots in 1296, was visited by Edward I. again in 1299 and 1306, gave lodging to Robert Bruce in 1311, was pillaged by David in 1346, and was given at the dissolution to Sir Thomas Dacre. The church of the priory was built partly with stones from the Roman. wall, continues to exist as a very fine architectural antiquity, and has a crypt containing some Roman altars. The nave, which has been restored, is the only portion in a state of repair, is used as the parish church, comprises eight bays, has in the W front an Early English door of five orders, and has a clerestory of eight pointed lancets. The transept is 96 feet long, has two bays in each wing, and contains monuments of the Dacres and the Howards. There is a memorial window to the seventh Earl of Carlisle erected in 1890. The tower is low and battlemented, and has at the NW angle a bell-cot. There are also an ancient entrance-gate and several remains of the monastic buildings; and all these, like the church, were built partly with stones from the Roman wall. That wall itself, in its course through the parish from Eosehill westward to the church, has left some interesting features, including remains of a station at Birdoswald and portions of its own masonry 7½ feet thick, and in comparatively good preservation. The station at Birdoswald was Amboglanna, was occupied by the first cohort of the Dacians, comprises an area of 5¼ acres, has yielded a very large number of inscriptions, retains walls 5 feet thick, eight courses in height, and still tolerably sound, has interesting remains of gateways, particularly of a very noble double one, and is marked throughout the interior witli the lines of streets and the ruins of buildings. Another station was probably near the church. The living is a vicarage, with Kirkcambeck annexed, in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £216 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Carlisle. There are also Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.

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 parishLanercost-Abbey St. Mary Magdalene 
Poor Law unionBrampton 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Lanercost or Lanercost Abbey from the following:

Land and Property

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

Villages, Hamlets, &c

West Hall

Visitations Heraldic

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