Township in Lanercost parish, Eskdale ward, Cumberland, enlarged by addition of part of Banks township in 19th century.


2,082 acres [843 ha] before boundary change; increased to 2,683 acres [1,086 ha] after absorbing part of Banks township.


ising from 279 in 1801 to peak at 347 in 1851; then falling to 177 in 1991.


part of initial endowment of Lanercost Priory, passing at Dissolution to Thomas Dacre of Lanercost. On failure of heirs, reverted to Crown in 1716 and leased to, later purchased by, earl of Carlisle.


predominantly agricultural; quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Archaeological tourism increasingly important across 20th century; visitors attracted by wealth of historic sites, notably Hadrian’s Wall and ruins of Lanercost Priory.

Places of worship:

nave of Lanercost Priory used as parish church of St Mary Magdalene since Dissolution. Primitive Methodist chapel at Calees, near Banks, erected 1874; closed 2004.

Schools and other institutions:

two schools in mid-19th century; that at Island recorded 1847; rebuilt 1862; now Lanercost CE Primary School. Library in school building, recorded 1901.