|This parish is a small fertile district, on the west bank
of the Eden, between Warcop, Asby, and Appleby St. Lawrence parishes, and consists of the
two villages and constablewicks of Great and Little Ormside, which in 1841 contained 190
inhabitants. The derivation of its name is uncertain, but it was anciently called Ormeshead,
or Ormesheved. It was held by a family of its own name from the reign of King
John, to that of Edward I, after which it passed to the Radcliffes, Bartons, Pickerings,
Hiltons, Stephensons, and Fawells, and was sold in 1771 to Sackville, Earl of Thanet, but
nearly all the tenants are enfranchised. John Wakefield, Esq., is the largest land owner
in this parish.
GREAT ORMSIDE village occupies a pleasant situation near the river, three miles S.S.E. of Appleby.
The Church is a small ancient edifice standing on a considerable eminence, near the Hall. It has a tower with two bells, and was appropriated to the Abbey of St. Mary, York, soon after the Norman conquest, but the abbot and convent granted the advowson to the Bishop of Carlisle, in 1248, reserving to themselves the usual revenues. The benefice is a rectory, valued in the king's books, at £17. 17s. 3½d., and certified to the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, as of the clear yearly value of £40. In 1846, the tithes were commuted for an annual rent charge of £78 16s. 4d. The present rector is the Rev. Robert Whitehead, M.A., who was collated in 1811, and the Rev. William Abbott, A.M., is the officiating curate. The name of the patron saint to whom this church is dedicated has not been ascertained.
Ormside Hall, an ancient tower building, belonging to the Earl of Thanet, is now occupied by a farmer, as also in Breeks Hall, another antique mansion. Near to the former, in the bed of the river Eden, several brass vessels were found in 1689, supposed to be have been buried there during the civil wars, in the reign of Charles I; upon one of them were the letters F.D., probably the initials of Frances Dudley, widow of John Dudley, and natural daughter of Sir Christopher Pickering.
LITTLE ORMSIDE is a small village, lying north east of the church, about three miles S. by E. of Great Ormside. "The tenants have been purchased off from the manor of Ormside, and are now within the manor of Garthorne, in the parish of Asby, but nearly all are enfranchised." Ormside Lodge is a good dwelling now occupied by a farmer.
In 1733, Sarah Michaelson gave £4, and in 1756, Mary
Hilton, £12, the interest of which to be given to the poor of this parish, who have also
the sum of £4 4s. a year, arising from a poor stock, and Burton's gift1.
Mannix & Co.,History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851
1. Details omitted.
30 April 2008
© Steve Bulman