Ancient parish in Leath ward, Cumberland, embracing 13 townships, of which 9 became separate CPs (for which see separate entries): Berrier & Murrah, Bowscale, Hutton John, Hutton Roof, Hutton Soil, Matterdale, Mungrisdale, Threlkeld and Watermillock. This entry treats Greystoke CP, which covered townships of Greystoke, Little Blencow, Johnby and Motherby & Gill.


Greystoke CP contained 7,511 acres [3,040 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Greystoke: 4,725 acres [1,912 ha]; Johnby: 1,971 acres [798 ha]; Little Blencow: 336 acres [135 ha]; Motherby and Gill: 479 acres [194 ha]. Johnby pasture, common and Craggs (638 acres [258 ha]) were enclosed 1795. Common field at Motherby survived into 19th century and was enclosed 1817.


population of constituent townships in 1851 was: Greystoke: 345; Johnby: 133; Little Blencow: 56; Motherby and Gill: 95. Combined population for Greystoke CP rose from c.500 in early 19th century to peak of 608 in 1881; then fell to 473 by 1931. Rose again across later 20th century to stand at 733 in 2001.


Greystoke Castle (licence to crenellate 1353) was seat of barony of Greystoke, held by de Greystoke family, descended from Lyulph in early 12th century. Passed to Dacres on marriage c.1488 of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert de Greystoke, to Thomas, Lord Dacre. On division of Dacre estates 1569, Greystoke was assigned to Anne (c.1557-1630), wife of Philip Howard, Lord Arundel, and descended with dukedom of Norfolk until 1815, when it passed to younger branch of Howard family, in whose hands it remains. Castle rebuilt late 17th century and again 1837-45; extended 1875-8. Greystoke and Motherby & Gill were held directly of barons of Greystoke but Johnby and Little Blencow were dependent manors. Manor of Johnby, first mentioned 1200, held successively by Musgrave and Wyvill families; sold to Roger Williams c.1650 and passed by marriage to Hasells of Dalemain, who sold it to duke of Norfolk 1783. Manor of Little Blencow granted to Adam de Blencowe in 1357 in recognition of his service at Crecy and Poitiers. Descended through Blencowe family until Henry Prescot Blencowe sold it to duke of Norfolk 1802.


predominantly agricultural. Attempt to found borough at Greystoke (burgages recorded 1289; market granted 1350) was unsuccessful. Limestone quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Forestry in 20th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Andrew (collegiate, with master and six chaplains, from 1382 to Reformation); restored 1818 and 1848. Ruins of supposed medieval chapel in grounds of Blencow Hall. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Little Blencow built 1877.

Schools and other institutions:

school at Greystoke built 1838 by Henry Howard, who endowed it; now Greystoke Primary School. Girls’ school at Little Blencow built by subscription 1856; now closed. Village hall at Greystoke built 1932.