Formerly a township in Addingham, has, in accordance with the Local Government Act of 1894, been constituted a distinct parish for all civil business, but for ecclesiastical matters it remains united with the ancient parish. It is comprised within Leath ward, and petty sessional division; the poor law union, rural and county court districts of Penrith; and the county council electoral division of Edenhall. The area of the parish is 5,243 acres, of which the gross estimated rental is 3,163; the ratable value of the land, 2,322, and of the buildings, 567. The inhabitants in 1891 numbered 223, who reside mostly in the village which is pleasantly situated near Hartside Fell, ten miles N.E. of Penrith. The principal landowners are - John and Mark Armstrong, Thomas Lander, John Benson, John G. Falder, Joseph Cowen, W.F. Dufton, Henry Varty, John Harrison, G.H.H. Mounsey-Heysham, John Parker, and William Smith.

The Church, dedicated to St. John, is a chapel-of-ease to Addingham. It is a small but handsome edifice, erected in 1868, at a cost of 1,000, towards which Mr. Monkhouse, a native of the village, contributed 200. The chancel is lighted by three stained glass windows. The old Wesleyan Chapel, said to have been designed and built by the Rev. John Wesley, was replaced in 1864 by a more commodious edifice, erected at a cost of 700, and capable of seating 180 persons. The Congregationalists have also a chapel here, erected in 1864, at a cost of 400, with accommodation for 200 persons. Previous to its erection they met for worship in the upper room of a private house. The School, erected in 1874, at a cost of 470, is under the management of the School Board. It was endowed in the same year with 600, the gift of W. Harrison, Esq., London, which was invested in the French Rentes, and now yields an interest of 22 10s. per year.

Unthank is a hamlet in this township, 10 miles N.E. by E. of Penrith. Some few years ago the grave of one of the early inhabitants was brought to light on Gamblesby Low Fell. The mouldered remains were enclosed within a chest formed of four stones, but there was neither inscription nor article of any kind to indicate the name or rank of the person to whom these mouldered remains once belonged. The manor of Gamblesby-with-Unthank was included in the grant of William III. to his Dutch follower, created Duke of Portland, and is now the property of the Duke of Devonshire.

Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

30 July 2006

Steve Bulman