CLIBURN: ancient parish in West ward, Westmorland

Cliburn CP reformed in 1935, with part (503 acres) being transferred to Brougham CP.

Acreage of administrative unit

1890 acres [758 ha], including the detached portion of Winderwath (503 acres). Approximately 603 acres [c. 244 ha] enclosed 1820. In 1807, 189 acres [76 ha] was allotted to the Rectory as commutation for the tithes of the parish.


157 in 1801, rising to 367 in 1861 (attributed to workers laying the local railway line), then falling gradually to 204 in 2001.

Land ownership

The ancient manor comprised two divisions — Cliburn Talebois and Cliburn Hervey, named after the owners. They were subsequently held as one manor by the de Cliburne (later Cleyburne) family during the Plantagenet period until the latter part of the 16th century. Cliburn Hall was formerly the seat of the de Cliburne family. In the 16th century, Thomas Cliburne married Frances, daughter of Sir Richard Lowther and the property transferred to the Lowther family and thence to the Earl of Lonsdale. The mansion in the detached portion of Winderwath belonged to the Wyvil family in the early 1880s and to Mrs Longrigg in the 1930s. During the 20th century much of the land and residential buildings were sold as freehold.

Economic activity

Mainly agricultural. Cliburn Mill (corn) dates from 17th century or earlier; milling ceased by c. 1900. Ling Joinery established in 1961 as A.J. & D. Chapelhow Ltd. Railway station (half a mile from the village) opened to passengers in 1862 and closed in 1956; station converted to a dwelling; signal box restored and convered into a holiday let in 2012.

Places of worship

Parish church of St Cuthbert; nave dates from 12th century; restored in 1849, followed by major restoration in 1886/87.  Methodist Chapel  erected in 1852 and closed in 1974; now a private dwelling (2012).


Cliburn’s free school was endowed in 1807 (built 1809), then rebuilt in 1877. The school closed in 1983. The redundant original school building was used as a Reading Room until the Second World War. First village hall was a building relocated from Haweswater where it was used for workers building the dam. The new village hall opened in 2002.