Upper Denton

Ancient parish (also known as Over Denton) in Eskdale ward, Cumberland; it included part of the village of Gilsland.


1,039 acres (420 ha), including part of 3,300 acres [1,336 ha] of common land in Nether and Upper Denton, enclosed 1800.


rising from 85 in 1801 to 200 in 1921; then falling back to 92 in 2001.


held 1279 by Richard Stowland who conveyed it to John Witherington in whose family it descended until purchased by Lord William Howard in 17th century.


largely agricultural. Tourism from 19th century, attracted by mention of Mumps Hall in Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering (1815), proximity of Gilsland Spa and, increasingly, of Hadrian’s Wall and associated Roman remains.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church, dedication unknown; restored 1881 and 1930s; now disused. Methodist chapel in Gilsland built 1869; still in use.

Schools and other institutions:

children went to school in Haltwhistle in early 19th century until day school established in Upper Denton (by c.1830). School at Gilsland (now Gilsland CE Primary School) established before 1900.