|Is only about 2½ miles in length and breath, being
bounded on the S. and E. by Corney, on the W. by Bootle, and on the north by the river
Esk, which separates it from Muncaster. It contains a small village of its own name, and
the hamlet of Newbiggin, about two miles south by east of Ravenglass; comprises 910
acres, rated at £809 16s., besides about 1000A. of common. It possesses a rich loamy
soil, except on its eastern side where the land is high and rocky. The principal land
owners are Messrs. James Pickthall and Wm. Falcon, but lord Muncaster is lord of the
manor, which gave name to its ancient owners, the Wybergs, one of whom obtained
it in marriage with the daughter of Arthur Boyvill, third lord of Millom. The customary
tenants paid "arbitrary fines, rents, heriots, and boon service," but it has
been enfranchised, and many of the farms are now occupied by their respective owners. Its
population, in 1841, was only 146 souls.
The Church is dedicated to St. John, and the benefice is a rectory, in the patronage of lord Muncaster. In 1421 and 1425, Sir Richard de Kirkby presented, and in 1580, Henry Kirkby; but the advowson has been in the Pennington family at least since 1608. The living is valued in the king's books at £3 11s. 8d., and was certified to the governors of queen Anne's bounty at £18. 16s. 6d., but it has since been augmented with that bounty, and was returned by the ecclesiastical commissioners at £131. The great and small tithes produced £30 in 1794, and in 1842 they were commuted for a yearly rent charge of £105. 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 to be distributed annually.
Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847
30 April 2008
© Steve Bulman