Or Cumbersdale, formerly a township within the civil parish of St. Mary, Carlisle, now forms a distinct parish for all lay purposes, but for matters ecclesiastical is under the jurisdiction of Holy Trinity. It contains about 1,710 acres, lying along the banks of the river Caldew, on the south-west of the city, and comprised within Cumberland ward, and the petty sessional division of the same name; union, county court and rural districts of Carlisle; and the electoral division of St. Cuthbert's Without. The gross estimated rental of the parish is about £5,290; the ratable value of the land £1,808, and of the buildings £2,546. In 1891 the population numbered 909. The soil is a light mould, incumbent on a clay subsoil, and is in a high state of cultivation. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the lords of the manor, besides whom the following are the principal landowners:— The Ecclesiastical Commissioners; Pattinson Dalton, Esq.; the Misses Gale; John Barnes, Esq.; and P.H. Chance, Esq.

The Villages of High and Low Cummersdale, and the hamlets of Newby West and Newby Cross, are comprised within the parochial boundaries. During late years, the calico and furniture print works of Stead, McAlpin, and Co., have been greatly extended, and now give constant employment to 300 hands. In the department of hand block printing the firm ranks amongst the first in the kingdom. The extensive cotton-spinning factory of Messrs. J. Dalton and Sons, the flour mills belonging to Henry Stalker, and the dyeing and bleaching works of Messrs. James Mungall and Sons, in Low Cummersdale, also give employment to a large number of the inhabitants.

In 1885 a School was erected at High Cummersdale, at a cost of about £1,200, with accommodation for 130 scholars. There are two departments, mixed and infants, with an average attendance of 106. This, and the factory school at Low Cummersdale, are both in the hands of the School Board. The latter is principally attended by "half-timers."

At Newby West there is a small Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

Not far distant from the boundary wall is a gentle eminence, which has long been known as Seven Wells Bank - a name which explains its own origin. Only one of the seven now remains, and on the stone which marks the spot is the following quaint inscription in mediæval Latin:— " Purgatum, dedicatumque, Ubeskud, die quinto Decembris, Frater, de sub rupe lapidem venerabili Sancto Bedæ, ore rotundo;" which may be thus rendered, "I, brother Ubeskud, lay under a rock a round-mouthed stone, and dedicated it to the venerable St. Bede on the fifth day of December." We may infer from this inscription chat the well was in the past associated with events of sufficient interest to call forth this dedication from Brother Ubeskud; and tradition points to the spot as the well at which the early Christian missionaries baptised their Saxon converts. A chapel under the same invocation once stood near, the foundations of which may still be traced.


Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

30 July 2006

© Steve Bulman