Is bounded on the east by Northumberland and the parish of Alston, on the north by the parish of Cumrew and Geltsdale Forest, on the west by Ainstable and Cumwhitton, and on the south by the river Croglin. This stream, after which the parish is called, is said to have derived its name from two British words, carog, a rock, and lyn, water. The parish is in Leath ward and petty sessional division; deanery of Penrith, E; county council electoral division of Kirkoswald; and the union, rural and county court districts of Penrith.
It is about six miles in length from east to west, and two miles in breadth from north to south, and has a total area of 6,706 acres. A large portion of it is of a mountainous character, the principal eminence being Croglin Fell, containing 2,287 acres. Coal of an inferior quality is found in considerable quantities, as are also limestone, red freestone, and a bastard marble, or a species of porphyry, some of which is very black, and some veined with white. Copper has been found, but not in sufficient quantity for remunerative working. The arable portion of the parish consists of a cold, heavy soil, the principal crops being oats and turnips. The potatoes grown in the district are good in crop and quality, but owing to the great distance from a market they are not cultivated to any great extent. There are two manors or townships, viz.: Croglin and Newbiggin, which had, in 1891, a population of 244, and are assessed at £2,423.
CROGLIN comprises an area of 4,069 acres, and is rated at £1,026. The manor anciently belonged to the family of Hastings, one of whom served under the Lion-hearted Richard at the siege of Jerusalem, and as a reward for his bravery received a grant of land from the King. In the reign of Edward I. it passed, by the marriage of an heiress to the Whartons, of Wharton Hall, Westmorland, who thereupon assumed the arms of the Hastings. It continued in this family until sold to Charles Duke of Somerset, from whom it descended to the Earl of Egremont, and is now held by Lord Leconfield.
The other principal landowners are the Rev. R.S.G. Green and Mr. Thomas Mulcaster. The village of Croglin is situated in a deep vale on the north side of the river, five miles N.N.E. of Kirkoswald, and twelve miles W. by N. of Alston. Near to it are the remains of an old border stronghold called Scarromanwick.
The Church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, appears to have been founded at an early date, as the names of its rectors can be traced back to 1293. The advowson, originally an appendage of the manor, was sold by the Duke of Wharton to Matthew Smales, Esq., and has since passed through various hands. It is now the property of Mrs. Green, the mother of the present incumbent, the Rev. Reginald S. G. Green, M.A. In the valuation of Pope Nicholas (1292) it is certified at £9 15s. 4d., and in the reign of Henry VIII. was stated to be worth £8. At the enclosure of the commons 600 acres of land were allotted in lieu of tithes, making a total endowment of 628 acres. The present income amounts to £300 yearly. The church was rebuilt in 1878, at a cost of upwards of £900, raised by subscription. It is a small structure, with accommodation for 120 persons, in the Norman style, but without elaboration. When removing the foundations of the old church, a sepulchral slab was found bearing the following inscription:- "HIC JACET IN TUMBA, ROBERTUS E. P. S." (Here lies in the tomb Robert the Bishop), probably Robert de Chauncey, bishop of Carlisle, who died in 1278. The east window is of stained glass, the subject being the Ascension. It was inserted in memory of a former rector, the Rev. Edward Bowman, by his family.
The School was endowed with the interest of £50 (now lost), given by the Rev. Thomas Hunter, rector of the parish, and 24 acres of land allotted at the enclosure of the common, which lets for about £18 per annum. The school was rebuilt by John Scott, Esq., in 1866. It is situated midway between Croglin and Newbiggin, and has an average attendance of 26. In the village is a Reading Room and Library with 300 volumes. The yearly subscription to each is 4s. paid quarterly. The Wesleyans have a small chapel, erected in 1877, with accommodation for 120 worshippers.
NEWBIGGIN is a small village and township on the north side of the parish, containing 2,637 acres, assessed at £1,397. The township belongs chiefly to the Dixon family, but the manorial rights are partly enjoyed by the rector of Croglin. The Wesleyan Methodist chapel in the village was rebuilt in 1867, at a cost of £220.
Ten bibles and prayer books are distributed annually among the poor of this parish from the charity of Lord Wharton; but the interest of £20, left in 1793 by Thomas Threlkeld, for the benefit of the poor, has been lost.
Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman