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Mimcaster, Cumberland

Historical Description

Mimcaster, a parish in Cumberland, 1½ mile E of Raven-glass station on the Furness railway. It was anciently called Meol Ceastre, includes the site of a Roman station, and gives the title of Baron to the family of Pennington. The parish also contains Birkby and the town of Ravenglass, the latter of which has a post, money order, and telegraph office (S.O.) Acreage, 7191 of land and 297 of water and foreshore; population of the civil parish, 571; of the ecclesiastical, 561. The manor belongs to Lord Muncaster, whose seat, Muncaster Castle, takes its name from an ancient castle, the original seat of the Penningtons; was restored in 1873; is a handsome edifice in the castellated style; contains a glass cup or bowl, called " the Luck of Muncaster," given by Henry VI. to Sir John Pennington after the battle of Hexham; stands amid beautiful grounds, with a charming view; and was repaired and enlarged in 1865. The park is about 500 acres in extent, and contains a heronry. Muncaster Fell is a range of mountain extending north-eastward between the rivers Esk and Mite. Barnscar is a quondam town on Birkby Fell, with traces of streets and houses, but so obscure in record as to be a puzzle to antiquaries. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; gross value, £223. Patron, Lord Muncaster. The church is ancient, chiefly in the Perpendicular style; consists of chancel, nave, N transept, S porch, and a " Sanctus " bell-turret over chancel-arch in church, and contains two piscina, brasses, and numerous monumental tablets of the Penningtons, Barons Muncaster. The N transept was added when the church was restored in 1874. The site of the Roman camp was excavated by Lord Muncaster in 1886. There are also the remains of a Roman villa, the highest above ground in England, at Ravenglass.

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

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Land and Property

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

Visitations Heraldic

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