Melmerby (St. John the Baptist)

MELMERBY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Penrith, Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 8½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Penrith; containing 329 inhabitants. This place was anciently of greater importance, and had a weekly market, and an annual fair; the former has been long discontinued, but a pleasure-fair is still held on Old Midsummer-day. The parish comprises by measurement 1651 acres of land in cultivation, exclusively of about 3000 of fell and common; there are extensive beds of limestone, some quarries of freestone, and a mine of lead. On the eastern side of the parish is Hartside Fell, a lofty mountain rising 1312 feet above the village, and over which passes a new road from Alston to Penrith. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 11. 5½., and in the gift of John E. Pattenson, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £118, and the glebe comprises 35½ acres. The church is built of red freestone, and contains several ancient monumental stones. In the parish are two springs, one sulphureous, and the other chalybeate. The Roman road called the Maiden-way is visible here; its width is 21 feet.

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

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