This parish is bounded on the south by the river Derwent; on the west by the sea; on the north by the parish of Flimby; and on the east by Broughton. It embraces an area of 785 acres, the gross rental of which is £2,460; the ratable value of the land £423; and of the buildings, etc., £1,619. Coal is plentiful, and the working of it gives employment to a large number of the inhabitants, who number about 245. The parish is included in the county court district of Cockermouth and Workington; the county council electoral division of Workington rural; Derwent ward; the petty sessional division of Workington; the deanery of Maryport; and the union and rural district of Cockermouth. The manor of Camerton, together with that of Seaton, was given by Waltheof, first lord of Allerdale, to Orme, son of Ketel, in marriage with his sister Gunhilda. Orme's chief residence is said to have been at Seaton, where traces of the old castle are still visible. The posterity of Orme assumed the name of Camerton, and subsequently, having received a grant of the great lordship of Culwen, in Galloway, they adopted the name of Culwen or Curwen. The manor of Curwen, with the exception of a small portion belonging to the dean and chapter of Carlisle, belongs to the Trustees of the late Miss Elizabeth Cooke, who exercise all manorial rights and privileges.
The Church occupies a lovely situation on the banks of the Derwent. It is said to have been erected in the year 1000, rebuilt in 1694, and again in 1796. A small tower and spire were added in 1855, at a cost of £117. The chancel is lighted by a stained-glass window, in which is depicted the Redeemer of the world bearing His cross to Calvary. A marble monument records the memory of the Rev. Joseph Pearson, for forty-four years incumbent of the parish; but the most interesting memento in the church is the effigy of a knight in armour, cut out of black stone, and popularly said to be that of "Black Tom of the North," who, according to tradition, was a renowned warrior and an early ancestor of the Curwens, of Workington. The church of Camerton was given by Gospatric, son of Orme and father of "Black Tom," to the priory of Carlisle. The tithes were therefore paid to the prior and convent, who appointed a curate to discharge the duties. The living is now styled a vicarage, and in the gift of the dean and chapter of Carlisle. In 1844, the tithes of the parish were commuted for a yearly rent charge, which is in the impropriation of the Earl of Lonsdale, who rents the whole of the tithes, amounting to £327, from the patrons. The benefice is now worth £297, and is held by the Rev. Thomas Hodges, M.A., Cantab. The parsonage, erected by subscription in 1850, is a neat modern Gothic structure.
A school for infants was erected at the expense of Mrs. Blanchard, late of Camerton Hall, and opened in 1897. There is accommodation for 60 children, and an average attendance of 35.
Camerton Hall, the residence of Mrs. Falcon, is a neat stone structure, rebuilt in 1833, and enlarged in 1886.
Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901
30 July 2006
© Steve Bulman