Is a parish of 3,353 acres, lying within Derwent ward and petty sessional division; the deanery and county court district of Cockermouth and Workington; the poor law union and rural district of Cockermouth; and the county council electoral division of Derwent Fells. The population at the census taken in 1891 numbered 112. The wyth, or willow tree, which once grew here in abundance, is said to have given a name to the place - Wythorpe, that is, the thorpe among the willows. The township extends from four to six miles S.E. of Cockermouth, and contains the two small hamlets of Old Scales and Roughton Beck.
The Manor of Wythop belonged at an early period to the Lucys; from them it descended to the Lowthers about the year 1314. This family continued to possess the manor until 1606, when Sir Richard Lowther sold it to Richard Fletcher, whose grandfather had the honour of entertaining Mary Queen of Scots, when on her way from Workington to Carlisle, as related in the account of Cockermouth Hall. This Richard received the honour of knighthood when James ascended the throne. Sir Henry Fletcher, Bart., one of his descendants, embraced the Catholic faith, and, becoming weary of the world and its frivolities, he entered a monastery of English monks at Douay, in Flanders, where he died in the early part of the last century. Previous to entering the cloister, he settled the estate upon Thomas Fletcher, with remainder to Henry Fletcher Vane, his nephew, and son of Mr. Vane, of Long Newton, Durham; and the manor is still held by that family. The principal landowners are Sir H.R. Vane, Bart., Hutton Hall; Messrs. Paisley and Falcon, Workington; the Cumberland Union Bank, and Martha Fletcher.
The Church. - The old ruined chapel, erected in 1673, near Kelsick Farm, as primitive in its interior furnishings as it was plain in exterior appearance, has been superseded by a more ornate and becoming edifice. The new church stands on side of Sale Fell, and commands fine views of the vale of Embleton, the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake, and the old Roman station of Piel Wyke, on its bank. It was erected in 1865-6, at a cost of over £1,000, and is considered a model of simple ecclesiastical architecture. In 1881 the beauty of the interior was greatly enhanced by the insertion of a finely-coloured east window, consisting of three lights. In the centre one is depicted the Crucifixion, whilst scroll work forms the chief ornament of the side ones. This window was erected by Sir Henry Vane, Bart., in memory of his mother. Other coloured windows, a reredos, and the mosaic pavement of the chancel have greatly improved the appearance of the little edifice. The living is now styled a vicarage, of the annual value of £69, land is in the patronage of Sir H.R. Vane, Bart., and the incumbency of the Rev. Peter Norman Kennedy. The tithes were commuted in 1844 for a yearly rent charge of £18 9s. 5d. A new Sunday school was erected near to the church in 1887 as a Jubilee memorial, at a cost of £120. The National school at Wythop Mill in Embleton serves also for this township, the vicars and churchwardens of the respective places being joint trustees.
CHARITY. - This parish was the recipient of a small charity of £50, the interest of which is distributed 1st January and 1st July, the vicar being sole trustee.
Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901
30 July 2006
© Steve Bulman