Stapleton Parish

  > Is encompassed by Nichol Forest, and the parishes of Bewcastle, Lanercost, and Kirklinton, and is about 5 miles in length and 3 in breadth; the beautifully wooded ravines through which the river Line winds itself giving the whole a very picturesque appearance. It is also intersected by the Kirkburn rivulet, which contains large blocks of granite, but how they came there is unaccountable, the nearest granite rock being Criffel, in Dumfrieshire, 30 miles distant, with the Solway Frith1 intervening. The soil is generally a cold clay, and wet, except on the banks of the Line, where there are some dry rich fields. Lime is found almost in every farm, and a coal mine has been opened at Hagg-Beck, but it is not very productive. On the commons, peat and turf are dug by the inhabitants, both for fuel and manure. The whole parish in diversified with vales and rising grounds, "but with nothing that can properly be called hills." Near to the ruins of Shank Castle, at it place called Rack, the river Line is crossed by a good bridge, rebuilt a few years since, by the county; and at Gibbestown2 there is a foot suspension bridge, 28 yards long, built by the inhabitants of Solport and Stapleton, at a cost of about 30, after the old one had been swept away by a flood, in July 1846. The parish is divided into the four townships of Belbank, Solport, Stapleton, and Trough, which in 1841 contained 1170 inhabitants, resident in 224 houses, detached at irregular distances from each other, and bearing different names, so that there is not a village in the entire parish, which extends from 7 to 12 miles N. by E. of Brampton.

Stapleton township is distant about 8 miles N. of Brampton, occupying the southern portion of the parish. It forms a manor under the earl of Carlisle, being within the barony of Gilsland, but was anciently held by a family of the name of Stapleton. Dr. Todd derives the name from Stablestand or Buckstall, a station for watching the deer when the country was a forest. The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, stands about the centre of this township, near the Kirkburn rivulet, and is a handsome edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, porch, and square tower, with pinnacles. It was rebuilt in 1830, at a cost of 1000 raised by subscription, except a government grant of 300, and is calculated to seat 600 persons. In the chancel is a neatly stained glass window. On an ancient tomb stone found here, and now in the church yard, is the name of Robert Forrester, Stonegarthside, with the date 1598. The benefice is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 8 1s. 11d., but is now worth about 99 a year, arising from a modus of 17 12s. 2d. in lieu of tithes, glebe land worth 50, 29 9s. 9d. as the interest of an augmentation received from queen's Anne's bounty, and surplice fees, amounting to about 1 10s. per annum. The right of patronage is alternately in the earl of Carlisle and the right hon. Sir J. R. G. Graham, bart., the latter of whom is lord of the manor of Solport, which comprises the other three townships of this parish. The Rev. John Hope is the incumbent and resides at the rectory, a substantial building near the church. The charities are 500 3 per cent., left by Sir Simon Howard, for the education of the poor children; and 4, the interest of 80 bequeathed by Edward Irving, in 1778, for the poor and school. Stapleton contains 4361 acres of land, rated at 2435 13s. 8d., and the largest owners of the soil are Henry Fawcett, Esq., John Forster, Esq., and Mr. Wm. Beaty. At Crossings is a drain tile manufactory belonging to Mr. Thos. Goodfellow. Population, 550.

Belbank township lies at the confluence of the White and Black Lines3, about a mile N. of the parish church, near another township of the same name in Bewcastle parish; contains 1333 acres, rated at 499 6s. 9d., and a population of 124 souls. Its principal landowners are the Rev. H. Majendee, Mr. Harbin, and Mr. Christopher Routledge.

Solport is at the north end of the parish, and was anciently the inheritance of the Levingtons, from whom, after their failure in male issue, it passed to the Grahams. Its principal landowners are Sir Jas. Graham, Mr. Thomas Phillips, and Thomas Irwin, Esq., and its population in 1841 was 353. At Haggbeck, in this township, is a coal pit, wrought by Mr. Thomas Phillips, but it is not prolific; and here are lime works belonging to the same gentleman. The rateable value of the township is 1227 15s.

Trough is situated on the north side of the Line, near Belbank, and belongs mostly to resident yeoman, but Mr. Joseph Bell, and a few others, have estates here. The Messrs. Phillips & Little have a drain tile manufactory at Bartistown4, and the United Presbyterians have a small chapel at Holywell, built about 10 years ago, and now under the ministry of the Rev. John Thompson. Population, 143; rateable value, 664 18s.



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




1. Solway Frith is now Solway Firth.
2. Gibbestown is now Gibstown.
3. The White Line and Black Line are rivers, and are both nowadays rendered Lyne.
4. Bartistown is now Bartiestown.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman