Grinsdale Parish

  Is very small, containing only 719 acres of land, rated at 581 and 23 houses, with 115 inhabitants. It lies on the south side of the river Eden, about 1 mile long and one broad, possesses a fine deep loamy soil, and is crossed by the Carlisle canal and the site of the great Roman wall, near which were some years ago the remains of two large square entrenchments, but they have been levelled, and no visible traces of them now remain. The small village of Grinsdale is 2 miles N.W. of Carlisle, and the grinsdale1.jpg (39873 bytes)largest land owner in the parish is Mr. Thomas Sibson. This parish forms a manor within the barony of Burgh, and gave name to a resident family, the last of whom was Henry de Grinsdale, who left two daughters, whose heirs sold their inheritance in the reign of Henry IV to the Dentons of Cardew. About the year 1686, George Denton, Esq. sold his portion of the manor to Sir James Lowther; and the Studholmes had previously sold the other moiety to the tenants. Upon a rock near the river Eden, are impressed the foot-steps of a human being, supposed to have occurred when the stone was in a soft state: they are now covered by the sediment of the river and weeds. The church, which is dedicated to St. Michael1, was rectorial, until given to Lanercost Priory by Hugh de Morvil, lord of Burgh. After the dissolution, the rectory and advowson were given by Edward VI to Sir Thomas Dacre, and the curate has been constantly appointed by his descendants. The only tithe paid by the parishioners is forty shillings a year, which was reserved to maintain the ecclesiastical right of the patrons. The church, which was rebuilt at the sole expense of Joseph Dacre, Esq. about the year 1743, being of a white free stone, is a pretty object on the banks of the Eden. Hutchinson says "it has been three times augmented by lot, and the lands now (1795) produce 30 a year." The perpetual curacy is at present worth 108 per annum, and is enjoyed by the Revd. Jonathon Wilson, of Crozier Hall.

This parish is entitled to a share of 50, left by Mr. Pattinson, for teaching poor children, and the inhabitants have subscribed towards the building of a school at Kirk Andrews-upon-Eden. It is remarkable that there is not an exciseable article for sale in the whole parish.


Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847




1. According to Pevsner, the present church was built in 1740, but is evidently of a much older foundation. He also has it dedicated to St. Kentigern, rather than St. Michael, as does Bulmer.

Photo Steve Bulman.

29 April 2008

Steve Bulman