Ancient parish in Lonsdale hundred, Lancashire North of the Sands, embracing townships of Aldingham, Gleaston and Leece with Dendron. Parish includes settlements of Scales, Roosebeck, Baycliff, Newbiggin and Sunbrick.


4,707 acres [1,904 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Aldingham: 2,463 acres [997 ha]; Gleaston: 1,055 acres [427 ha]; Leece with Dendron: 1,157 acres [468 ha]. Skelding Moor (90 acres [36 ha]), partly in Urswick parish, enclosed 1822. Deep Meadows (113 acres [46 ha]) in Gleaston enclosed 1859.


rising from 633 in 1801 to peak of 1,152 by 1881; then dropping to 891 by 1931 before rising again in later 20th century to stand at 1,187 in 2001.


part of the manor of Muchland held by Michael le Fleming in 1127, which descended to Harrington family by 1306. They made their seat at Gleaston, where castle built before 1389. Manor then descended by marriage to Grey family, marquesses of Dorset, in 15th century, reverting to Crown after execution of Lady Jane Grey 1554. Remained Crown manor into 20th century. Gleaston castle and lands, sometimes treated as separate manor, came to Prestons of Furness Abbey in 17th century.


predominantly agricultural; lime-burning in 19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Cuthbert; extended 1845. Chapel of ease at Dendron (now St Mathew’s church) built 1644; rebuilt 1776; enlarged and restored 1891. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Roosebeck opened 1879; closed 1962 (later demolished). United Methodist chapel at Leece opened 1881; closed 1912 (later demolished). Congregational chapel and school at Gleaston built 1887; still open 1924, but closed shortly after (now private house).

Schools and other institutions:

chapel at Dendron used as school in early 18th century; school room built opposite church 1833, later used as Sunday school and parish hall. Replaced by new school at North Hill, built 1864, later becoming Dendron CE School; closed 1994 (converted to dwelling). Aldingham parochial school at Scales (later Scales Primary School), converted from barn 1875; closed 1994 (likewise converted to housing). Reading room (Aldingham Working Men’s Club) at Scales built 1883; functioned until c.1930. Aldingham parish hall, Scales, converted from former malt kiln. Village halls at Leece (later 20th century) and Gleaston (built 1970s).