Is small and compact, having a length and breadth of about 2 miles. It lies between the river Esk on the north, and Corney and Bootle on the south and east, and is comprised within the ward, petty sessional division, poor law union, and rural district of Bootle, the deanery of Gosforth, the county council electoral division of Muncaster, and the county court district of Whitehaven. It possesses a rich loamy soil, except on the eastern side, where the land is high and rocky. The area of the parish is 1,050 acres, the ratable value 933, and the population 140, showing a decrease since 1881, the number of inhabitants being then 196. It has a small village of its own name, and also the hamlet of Newbiggin. The principal landowners are Lord Muncaster, William Hodgkin, Edith Pritt, J.B. Postlethwaite, John Pritt, John Caddy, S. Nicholson, etc.

The Manor of Waberthwaite was held in ancient times by a family bearing the name of Wyberg, one of whom obtained it in marriage with the daughter of Arthur Boyville, third lord of Millom. Whether the manor gave name to the family, or the Wybergs impressed their name on the manor has not advanced beyond the realms of supposition. The latter seems the most probable hypothesis, and its name would thus be Wybergthwaite, which has now become Waberthwaite. The Wybergs subsequently removed from this parish into Westmorland, and fixed their abode at Isell in that county. The manor afterwards passed to the Penningtons of Muncaster, but whether by marriage or purchase is not known; and the manorial rights and privileges are now vested in Lord Muncaster, the representative of that family. Formerly the customary tenants paid "arbitrary fines, rents, heriots, and boon service," but they have been enfranchised, and many of the farms are now occupied by their respective owners.

The Church is an ancient, plain building, dedicated to St. John. It has no separate chancel. It is in the patronage of the lord of the manor, and this privilege appears to have been enjoyed by the Pennington family since the year 1608. In 1421, and again in 1425, Sir Richard de Kirkby presented, and in 1580 the same privilege was exercised by Henry Kirkby. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at 3 11s. 8d., and at a later period was certified to the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty as worth 18 16s. 6d. It has since been augmented by a donation from that fund. In 1794 the great and small tithes were commuted for a yearly rent-charge of 105. Owing to the decrease in the value of the tithes and glebe, the value of the living is now 92. The parish registers commence in 1695. The present rector is the Rev. John Harrison, L.Th. (Durham). The Rectory is in the parish of Muncaster. It was purchased in 1894, half the money being raised by subscription; the rest was a grant from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. There is a small school for Waberthwaite and Corney, capable of accommodating 80 children.

CHARITY. - There is an ancient Poor Stock of 100 belonging to this parish, 80 of which was given by the Rev. Mr. Park, rector of Barton, Norfolk. The interest thereof, 1 5s., is distributed annually. This parish also shares in a bequest of Lord Muncaster.


Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

30 July 2006

Steve Bulman