Ireby, Low

Township in Ireby parish, Allerdale below Derwent ward, Cumberland. CP abolished on creation of Ireby (later Ireby & Uldale) CP 1934.


1,200 acres [486 ha].


fluctuating around 300 for most of 19th and early 20th centuries (peak 337 in 1861); had fallen to 248 by 1931 (last census year for which separate figure available).


manor of Low Ireby held by William de Ireby in 13th century, whose daughter Christian sold it to Adam de Middleton 1302-3. By 1367 it had passed to Tilliols, from whom it descended through marriage of Felicia, daughter of William Tilliol or Colville, to William Musgrave (d. 1487) of Crookdake. On death of William Musgrave (d. 1664), it descended with Crookdake to Ballantines and from them to Ballantyne-Dykes family of Dovenby, who continued to hold it until early 20th century.


predominantly agricultural; limestone quarries and lime-burning in 19th century; brick works late 19th century. Market charter granted 1237. Ireby’s market was considered threat to Cockermouth’s in 16th century and Thomas Denton wrote 1688 that ‘In this market at Ireby all sorts of corne & graine (big [barley] & oates especially), and also salt, are sold at farr cheaper rates, and by a larger measure, then in any market in the north’. By 1900 market had long since ceased but two livestock fairs were still held each year. Market cross and former moot hall survive in centre of village.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church (surviving as ‘Old Chancel’) stood in fields on western side of township; replaced by new church of St James at northern end of village, built 1845-6. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1870; had closed by 1988 (subsequently converted to dwelling).

Schools and other institutions

endowed school founded 1726 or 1729; rebuilt on new site at Parkin Croft 1880; now Ireby CE Primary School. Former school building became Oddfellows’ Hall and subsequently (from 1952) Women’s Institute Hall; second village hall, The Globe Hall, built 1908.