Township in Brigham parish, in Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland.
2,780 acres [1,125 ha], excluding small detached portion at Wythop Mill, annexed to Embleton CP 1887. Common land in Setmurthy and Embleton, totalling 3,150 acres [1,275 ha], enclosed 1824.
fluctuating in range 140-190 across 19th and earlier 20th century; then declining in later 20th century to stand at 108 in 2001.
part of honour of Cockermouth (q.v.). Subsidiary manor of Hewthwaite held by Huthwaite family from 13th century, passing by marriage to Swinburne family in later 14th century and descending with Brigham (q.v.). John Swinburne rebuilt Hewthwaite Hall 1581.
largely agricultural; Hay Fell noted as sheep heaf in 17th century, when there was also race course on common. Tanning implied by name Barkhouse. Small-scale quarrying 19th century. Forestry plantations, tourism and leisure businesses in 20th century.
Places of worship:
medieval chapel of ease, recorded early 13th century; present church of St Barnabas built 1794; rebuilt 1870. Quaker meeting house at Ruddings built 1799; closed 1828.
Schools and other institutions:
reader in chapel was also schoolmaster in early 18th century; schoolroom built 1795. New school built 1896; closed 1934; school building became parish hall.
Anon., Lakeland Chapelry: Setmurthy Church and Parish (1969)
Askew, John, Guide To The Interesting Places In And Around Cockermouth With An Account Of Its Remarkable Men And Local Traditions (Cockermouth, 1872).
Bradbury, J. Bernard, A History of Cockermouth, (London and Chichester, 1981) OR Bradbury’s History of Cockermouth, (Cockermouth and District Civic Trust, 2006)
Hankinson, Alan, The Story of Higham (Kendal, 1990)
Winchester, Angus, Landscape And Society In Medieval Cumbria (Edinburgh, 1987). Note: Although having a wider theme this book has a substantial section on medieval Setmurthy.
Winter, H.E., History of Cumberland Villages, (Millom, 1997)
While there are frequent references to Setmurthy in general articles, no references to substantive research on Wythop have been found, either in the Transactions of CWAAS or elsewhere.
[Compiled by S. Shaw]