Ancient parish in Leath ward, Cumberland. CP enlarged by addition of most of Croglin and part of Cumwhitton CPs 1934.
4,433 acres [1,826 ha] before boundary changes. 285 acres [115 ha] of common land enclosed 1698; and a further 2,000 acres [809 ha] 1821.
441 in 1801; peaking at 569 in 1831; had dropped to 361 by 1931 (last census year before boundary changes).
manor of Ainstable initially held by Vallibus (Vaux) family; passed by marriage to Burdon and Denton of Cardew families; sold to Dacres 1447; forfeited 1570 and in crown hands to 1649; awarded to Howards of Naworth and Arundel 1651, and assigned to Howards of Naworth (later earls of Carlisle) 1654. Manor of Nunnery (otherwise Armathwaite or Nunnery and Ruckcroft) originated in endowment of nunnery of Armathwaite, probably in 12th century; after Dissolution granted to William Graham 1552; sold 1690 to Sir John Lowther; exchanged 1694, passing to John Aglionby, whose family held it to 1901.
predominantly agricultural; freestone quarrying; fisheries in river Eden.
Places of worship:
medieval parish church of St Michael; rebuilt 1870-1; tower taken down 1983. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1861. United Methodist (Free Church) chapel near Armathwaite, built 1876.
Schools and other institutions:
endowed school 1743, rebuilt as Board school 1874; closed late 20th century; building used as library and converted to dwelling. Parochial library founded under will of Barnabas Olney, 1685; few books survived by 1747. Church Institute built 1906. Swimming pool and leisure centre between Ainstable and Armathwaite, early 21st century.