Ancient parish in East ward, Westmorland, embracing townships of Asby Coatsforth, Asby Winderwath and Little Asby.
8,497 acres [3,439 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Asby Coatsforth: 2,259 acres [914 ha]; Asby Winderwath: 4,024 acres [1,628 ha]; Little Asby: 2,215 acres [896 ha]. Common land at Asby Mask (1,248 acres [505 ha]), enclosed 1855, and Asby Winderwath (1,850 acres [749 ha]), enclosed 1874. Asby High Intake and Asby Low Intake, totalling 265 acres [107 ha], enclosed 1849.
357 in 1801, rising to peak of 496 in 1881; decline thereafter, falling to low of 238 in 1981; stood at 280 in 2001.
parish contained three manors. Manor of Asby Winderwath, held by Asby (Askeby) family before passing successively to Moresbys and Pickerings, who sold it to Fletchers, from whom it was later purchased by Bagots. Manor of Little Asby held by English family in 13th century and descended by marriage to Standishes in 14th. It then passed to Honeywoods, before being sold to earl of Thanet. Manor of Asby Coatsforth held by Cottesfords from 12th to 15th centuries. Later it descended to Musgraves, then passing through several hands by purchase, before becoming property of Earl Bective. Byland Abbey had grange here.
predominantly agricultural. Limestone quarrying and lime-burning; marble mill for polishing limestone 19th century. Copper mine in 19th century; short-lived. Caravan park at Little Asby established later 20th century.
Places of worship:
medieval parish church of St Peter in Great Asby; rebuilt c.1865-6. Medieval chapel of St Leonard in Little Asby (foundations survive). Methodist chapel at Great Asby built 1859; still in use. Baptist chapel at Great Asby built 1862; still in use. Congregational chapel at Little Asby built 1889; now a dwelling.
Schools and other institutions:
grammar school at Great Asby, endowed 1682 and 1688; rebuilt 1853; enlarged and re-opened as public elementary school 1880; now community primary school (Asby Endowed School). Village hall at Great Asby built as ‘Great Asby Club’ 1908. St Helen's almshouses by St Peter's church founded 1811 by Joseph and William Fairer and built by 1814.