Township in Carlisle St Mary’s parish, Cumberland ward, Cumberland.


2,014 acres [815 ha] before loss of northern part of township to Carlisle MB (Caldewgate CP) 1894, which reduced Cummersdale CP to 1,798 acres [728 ha]. Further loss of territory to Carlisle 1951. Common land at Cummersdale and Carlisle Moor (1,350 acres [546 ha], straddling boundary with Carlisle) enclosed 1770.


rising from 382 in 1801 to 659 by 1851 and 909 by 1891 (last census year before boundary changes). Population of reduced CP stood in range 550-650 across 20th century.


part of bishop of Carlisle’s barony of Dalston (q.v.).


largely agricultural until 19th century; Dalston Estate Small Holdings (part of Land Resettlement Scheme) from 1920s. Clay pits for brick-making on former common. Cotton dyeing and bleach works at Holme Head works, part of Ferguson brothers’ factories, opened 1824; closed 1991. Cluster of water-powered mills on River Caldew near High Cummersdale: corn mill recorded from 1268; commercial flour-milling for Carlisle until 1905; demolished 1970s. Cotton spinning mill established 1780s by Forsters of Carlisle; operated by Fergusons from c.1830 and by John Dalton & Son from 1848; closed 1903; sold to Edmund Stead 1905 and converted to hand block printing department of Stead McAlpin; closed 1978. Print works built by Forsters 1801; bought by Thomas McAlpin 1835; now Stead McAlpin & Co. Dye works established by Ferguson brothers 1782; taken over by Lowthian and Parker 1849; purchased by Stead McAlpin 1901; closed 1911; demolished 1970s. Bacon curing works in High Cummersdale later 19th and early 20th century. Pirelli tyre factory built at Low Cummersdale 1966-9.

Places of worship:

St James’ Church, St James Road, built 1865-7, serving Denton Holme district of Carlisle; daughter church, St James’, High Cummersdale, converted from factory building mid-20th century. Mission hall (former school) at Newby from late 19th century; closed and converted to dwelling. St Luke’s Church, Morton, built 1958-60. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Langrigg Road, built 1967. St Edmund’s RC Church, built 1972-3; rebuilt 1981. Carlisle Cemetery, with Anglican and nonconformist mortuary chapels, opened 1855; expanded south of Fairy Beck late 19th century; crematorium dedicated 1956.

Schools and other institutions:

National school at Newby built 1833; had closed by 1890s. British school at Holme Head works built 1841; closed 1884. Factory schools at Cummersdale print works and cotton mill (from 1860s; closed c.1914; building used as joiner’s shop; demolished 1993). Board school at High Cummersdale opened 1884; now Cummersdale Primary School. In outer suburbs of Carlisle: New Laithes Junior School opened 1963; adjacent Infant School opened 1965; Morton Secondary School (now Richard Rose Morton Academy) opened 1968. Embassy Club, High Cummersdale, converted from bacon-curing works 1920s as community building with reading room, dance hall, billiards and games rooms; now village hall.