Chapelry and township in Crosthwaite parish, Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland.


18,663 acres [7,553 ha], much of which remains unenclosed common fell, including Langstrath and Coombe Fells (3,957 acres [1,602 ha]).


rising from 342 in 1801 to 497 in 1901; stood at 438 in 2001 (increased seasonally by tourism).


manor of Borrowdale was granted out of forest of Derwentfells in 1211 to Furness Abbey and Fountains Abbey, who held it until Dissolution. Sir Wilfred Lawson of Isel Hall purchased it 1614 and it descended in Lawson family.


livestock farming (monastic vaccary at Stonethwaite recorded 1302); sheep fair at Rosthwaite each September until late 19th century; revived 1989. Coppice woodland producing charcoal and hazel nuts (Borrowdale noted for latter in late 17th century). Lead and copper mining from 16th to 19th century. Slate quarrying at Quayfoot and Honister quarries. ‘Black lead’ (graphite or ‘wad’) mining from 16th century; formed basis of Keswick pencil industry; mine closed 1891. Tourism increasingly important from 1770s, with viewing station on Castle Crag; Bowder Stone and waterfall at Lodore became ports of call on circuit from Keswick. Hotels and other visitor accommodation by mid-19th century. Modern economy heavily reliant on tourist trade.

Places of worship:

chapel of ease (now St Andrew's Church) near Stonethwaite, recorded 1505; consecrated 1687; rebuilt 1824-5; chancel added 1873. Holy Trinity Church at Grange built by Margaret Heathcote; consecrated 1861. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Grange built 1894.

Schools and other institutions:

school in west end of chapel in early 19th century; separate schoolroom built nearby 1825; now Borrowdale CE Primary School. School at Grange built in memory of Margaret Heathcote 1894 (now Climbers’ Club hut). Rosthwaite Village Institute founded 1960s.