Dalston (St. Michael)

DALSTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Carlisle, ward, and E. division of the county, of Cumberland; comprising the townships of Buckabank, Cumdivock, Dalston, Hawkesdale, and Raughton with Gaitsgill, and the chapelry of Highhead; and containing 2874 inhabitants, of whom 1024 are in the township of Dalston, 4½ miles (S. S. W.) from Carlisle. This place, from various circumstances, appears to have been visited by the Romans; and from some extensive quarries of freestone here, it is supposed a great part of the stone used for building the Roman wall from Carlisle to Bowness was dug; an opinion confirmed by the discovery, about the middle of the last century, of a Roman inscription on the face of a rock, and by the vestiges of three Roman encampments, that exist in the neighbourhood. Rose Castle, in the parish, is supposed to have been the principal residence of the bishops of Carlisle from the year 1228: in 1322 it was burnt by Robert Bruce, and, about 1366, was twice attacked and ravaged by the Scots. Before the civil war in the seventeenth century, the building formed a complete quadrangle, had five towers, and was surrounded by a turreted wall. In 1648, being then held for the king, it was attacked by General Lambert, and taken by storm; shortly afterwards, the Duke of Hamilton's army was here reinforced by that under Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and the castle, after having been used as a prison for the royalists, was burnt by order of Major Cholmeley. Since the Restoration it has been rebuilt, and improved by successive prelates. The parish comprises about 10,850 acres; the surface, though hilly, is not mountainous, and the valleys are watered by the river Caldew, which, after receiving the Raugh and the Ive, gives name to a beautiful vale. Stone of excellent quality is found, and at Shalk are some very extensive quarries: the cotton manufacture is carried on to a considerable extent, there being several mills; and an iron and plating forge is conducted on a large scale, for spades and implements of husbandry. The village is well built, and at the eastern extremity is an ancient cross, raised on a flight of steps, and bearing several coats of arms; a customary market is held on Friday, and the village is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 18. 1½.; net income, £201; patron and appropriator, the Bishop. The church was rebuilt about a century ago. At Highhead is a separate incumbency. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a school, rebuilt in 1815, is endowed with £33 per annum. Remains exist of a Druidical circle about thirty yards in circumference. The celebrated Dr. Paley was vicar of Dalston from 1774 to 1793.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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