Ancient parish in East ward, Westmorland.
16,848 acres [6,818 ha], including 11,468 acres [4,617 ha] of unenclosed common land on Dufton Fell. Act for enclosure of three fellside pastures (c.2,300 acres [931 ha]), 1827. Open field at Keisley Field (52 acres [21 ha]) enclosed 1859.
392 in 1801, rising to 554 in 1831; decline thereafter, falling to 307 by 1901 and to 169 in 2001.
manor of Dufton held by Greystoke family by 1335; descending with Greystoke (q.v.) until granted on 99-year lease to Sir Christopher Clapham. Purchased by John Winder (d. 1699), whose son Williams Winder (1690-1766) demised it to Edward Milward, who sold it 1785 to earl of Thanet; descended thereafter with barony of Appleby (q.v.).
sheep farming noted in later 17th century. Quarrying, lead mining and smelting employed many inhabitants in 19th century. Mines operated by London Lead Co., who built smelt mill south of village 1785 (replacing older mill); closed c.1873, by which time lead mining had ceased. Dufton Fell mine reopened for barytes 1882; closed 1897.
Places of worship:
medieval parish church of St Cuthbert; rebuilt 1775 (or 1784) and repaired 1853. Wesleyan Methodist chapel recorded 1803; rebuilt 1820; closed and converted to dwelling 1935. Primitive Methodist chapel built 1839; rebuilt on new site 1905; still in use as Dufton with Knock Methodist Church.
Schools and other institutions:
endowed school founded 1670; rebuilt by subscription 1824. New school built on village green 1858; closed and converted to dwelling. Village benefitted from patronage of London Lead Co., which remodelled village, provided library and reading room by 1820 and piped water 1858. Subscription library established 1846. Village hall built as Conservative and Unionist Club 1911.