Township in Bridekirk parish, Allerdale below Derwent ward, Cumberland. Absorbed into Bridekirk CP 1934.


1,764 acres [552 ha.], excluding detached portion at Hames Hill (171 acres [69 ha]), which became part of Bridekirk CP (q.v.) 1887. Dovenby and Papcastle commons enclosed 1842.


rising from 153 in 1801 to peak of 272 in 1861; then falling back to 163 by 1931 (last census year for which separate figure available).


manor of Dovenby held by Lamplugh family from early 15th century. Manor was mortgaged in 17th century but Dovenby Hall and demesnes descended in Lamplugh family and by marriage via Woodall and Brougham families to Mary Dykes (1774-1860) who married her cousin Joseph Ballantine-Dykes. Dovenby Hall was seat of Ballantine-Dykes family until 1930s. Set in parkland, it had private station, opened 1867, on Maryport & Carlisle Railway.


largely agricultural; coal mining 1830 to c.1900. Dovenby Hall became headquarters of M-Sport rally car production 1998

Places of worship:

Independent chapel (shown as Methodist on 1899 OS) built 1869; closed 1929; later converted to garage.

Schools and other institutions:

grammar school founded 1609; rebuilt 1678 and again 1708. Rebuilt 1845 on eastern edge of township, midway between Dovenby and Bridekirk; now Bridekirk-Dovenby School. Hospital for four widows established 1609; building had gone by 19th century. Reading room opened c.1900; later converted to dwelling. Dovenby Hall was used as mental hospital from 1930 to 1997.