Ancient parish in Leath ward, Cumberland. Absorbed into Kirkoswald CP 1934.
Acreage: 4,299 acres [1,740 ha]. Moorland at Middle Moor and Long Moor, totalling 850 acres [350 ha], enclosed 1818; further 2,525 acres [1,004 ha] of common land on Renwick Fell enclosed 1864.
Population: around 150 in mid-17th century (though estimated at 265 in 1688); rose from 189 in 1782 to peak of 375 in 1831; then fell to 174 in 1931 (last census year for which separate figure available).
Landownership: manor of Renwick granted to Adam de Staveley, lord of Sedbergh and Dent, early 12th century; sold 1296-7 by Thomas de Staveley to Michael de Harcla; forfeited on attainder of Sir Andrew Harcla 1323; granted to Robert de Eaglesfield 1328, who used it to endow Queen’s College, Oxford, 1341, with whom lordship of manor remained.
Economy: predominantly agricultural: sheep grazing on fells said to be important in later 17th century. Coal mining recorded 1620; continued until mid-19th century. Quarrying and lime-burning from late 18th century to 1880s.
Places of worship: medieval parish church of All Saints; rebuilt 1737 and 1845-6. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1818; rebuilt 1905; still in use.
Schools and other institutions: school near church recorded 1675; disused by 1711. Schoolhouse built 1758 and endowed by Thomas Tallentire (d. 1767); replaced by new National school on waste near church 1838; in turn replaced by Board school 1876, closed 1987. Second school opened by Thomas Robinson, curate, at Linghouse (near Scalehouses) c.1790; closed c.1830. Reading room established in former (1838) school building 1879; closed 1950s; reopened 1977.
Papers in CWAAS Transactions
For more papers on this place, or papers about other places in Cumbria, search the CWAAS Transactions Index http://cumbriapast.com/cgi-bin/ms/main.pl?action=transactions
Images and maps (from Portsmouth University) on Old Cumbria Gazetteer
Renwick on Vision of Britain
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