EAGLESFIELD: township in Brigham parish, in Allerdale Above Derwent ward, Cumberland.

Added to DEAN CP on 1 April 1934.

Acreage of administrative unit

1998 acres [809 ha], including 1,000 acres [405 ha] of common enclosed in 1815.


310 in 1801, rising to 411 in 1831, falling to 222 by 1901 and standing at 233 in 1931, the last year for which there are separate figures.

Land ownership

Eaglesfield was one of the Five Towns within the Honour of Cockermouth, in possession of the Lords of Allerdale. The Superior lordship passed to the Lucys and then the Percys, being held by the crown for periods in the 1530s, 40s and 70s. The estate was returned to Percy heirs, passing by marriage to the dukes of Somerset, later earls of Egremont, remaining part of the Honour of Cockermouth, part of the Leconfield, Egremont estates into the 20th century.  At ‘an early date’, this manor was in the possession of the de Eaglesfield family, one of whom was confessor to Queen Phillipa, consort of Edward III. The date of enfranchisement to the tenants is not known. 

Economic activity

Quarrying in the area round Tendley has been the major economic activity in the area. For many years, limestone was burnt in kilns for agricultural use and by 1901, 200-300 tons per day, were being quarried. Tendley Quarries continue to extract gritstones and sandstones in 2012. There was a corn mill at Southwaite Mill in 1847 and a saw pit in the village later in the 19th century.

Places of worship

Eaglesfield was transferred to Mosser parish in 1883 and a new church to serve the parish (the ‘John Dalton Memorial Church’, dedicated to St Philip) was erected in 1891, within the township of Eaglesfield. The Society of Friends had a burial ground dating from 1693 and a meeting house was built there in 1711. Only in occasional use by 1901, it was sold in 1980 and converted into a dwelling house.  A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was established 1845.


By 1833 there were 3 daily schools and one Sunday school. The survivor, Paddle School, for the children of Eaglesfield and Blindbothel townships was endowed with an enclosure allotment of 20 acres. It is located on the boundary between the two townships, but actually in Blindbothel. It is still thriving in 2012.

Additional sources used

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ruskinrocks/Linton%20room%20posters/Panel%201.pdf; Winchester AJL, Landscape and Society in Medieval Cumbria, Edinburgh, John Donald Publishers Ltd, 1987; Bean JMW, The Estates of the Percy Family 1416-1537, London, OUP, 1958

Compiled by:  Sandra Shaw, L&DFHS