Township in Brigham parish, Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland.


5,318 acres [2,152 ha], excluding 170 acres [69 ha] at Swinside, a detached portion of Buttermere transferred to Lorton 1887. Commons (3,867 acres [1,566 ha]) enclosed 1835.


rising from 298 in 1801 to peak of 456 in 1861; thereafter declining to 233 in 1971; stood at 250 in 2001.


part of forest of Derwentfells in honour of Cockermouth. Manor of High Lorton granted to Carlisle Priory before 1158; transferred to Dean and Chapter of Carlisle after Dissolution. Low Lorton held by Thomas Mariscal by 1230; divided into thirds by 1305, one of which was held by Winder family from before 1397 to 1699, becoming Lorton Hall estate, which was acquired by Joshua Lucock (Bragg) 1800 and greatly developed; sold to Dixons of Rheda 1881, who substantially rebuilt Lorton Hall 1889-90; estate sold 1947.


predominantly agricultural until 19th century: vale of Lorton noted for its fertility in 17th century. Woollen textile industry from medieval period: fulling mill at Tenters built c.1480. Brewery established at High Lorton in 1820s by Jennings family (moved to Cockermouth 1887). Flax thread spinning on former fulling mill site at Tenters from 1830s to early 20th century. Forestry and tourism from mid-20th century.

Places of worship:

medieval chapel of ease (chaplain recorded 1198) dedicated to St Cuthbert, had become parochial by 16th century; rebuilt 1807-9. Wesleyan Methodist chapel, High Lorton, built 1840; closed and sold late 20th century.

Schools and other institutions:

curate serving as schoolmaster recorded 1598; school taught in chapel in early 18th century; endowed c.1710. School built in High Lorton 1809; enlarged 1859 and 1895; now Lorton Primary School. Former malthouse attached to brewery in High Lorton became village hall (‘Yew Tree Hall’) 1909.