Kirkland & Blencarn

Township in Kirkland parish, Leath ward, Cumberland. Absorbed into Culgaith CP 1934.


4,066 acres [1,646 ha], including extensive commons on Pennine edge: Kirkland Fell pasture (264 acres [107 ha]) enclosed 1857; Kirkland Fell (936 acres [379 ha]) enclosed 1866. Kirkland Fell (1,085 acres [439 ha]), Blencarn Fell (693 acres [280 ha]) and The Rigg, Blencarn (72 acres [29 ha]) remain registered common land.


rising from 188 in 1801 to 256 in 1851; then falling to low of 116 in 1921; stood at 129 in 1931 (last census year for which separate figure available).


part of barony granted to Adam son of Swein c.1100. Manor of Blencarn was granted to William L’Engleys after attainder of Andrew Harcla, earl of Carlisle, passing by marriage to Restwold family with whom it descended until sold to Thomas Lough 1540; on marriage of Mary Lough to John Carleton of Skirwith Hall 1724 it descended to Lough Carleton, who enfranchised the tenants 1792. Kirkland was part of manor of Skirwith (q.v.), held by Flemings of Rydal from 1606.


farming; extensive mining for lead on slopes of Cross Fell and for coal and iron at Ardale Head. Smelt mill at Bank, Kirkland, in mid-19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Lawrence in Kirkland; rebuilt 1768 and again 1880. Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Blencarn, built 1840; closed c.1987.

Schools and other institutions:

free school for children of Culgaith and Blencarn founded 1775 (see Culgaith); superseded in Blencarn by Board school, built 1878; closed 1933; became Kirkland and Blencarn recreation room and village hall.