Ancient parish in Leath ward, Cumberland. Absorbed into Ousby CP 1934.


5,362 acres [2,170 ha], including extensive commons on Pennine edge. Melmerby Moor, Turn Moor, Mires common and Melmerby Low Fell (1,336 acres [526 ha]) enclosed 1858.


estimated at 270 in 1688; rising from 223 in 1801 to peak of 329 in 1841; then downward trend to 175 in 1931 (last census year for which separate figure available).


manor of Melmerby held in 13th century by Odard of Wigton, descending to his heirs, the Parvings, in 14th century. By 1380 had passed to Threlkeld family, who held it until death of Lancelot Threlkeld (d. 1673); it then passed through his granddaughter, Elizabeth Thirkeld, to Pattenson family, who held it until sold by John Edward Pattenson 1846. Manor of Gale held by Huttons of Hutton Hall, Penrith; then by Holme family in early 19th century.


hill farming; small-scale quarrying in 19th century. Lead mining on Melmerby Fell by 18th century; had ceased by 1900. Bakery in village opened 1976.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St John; restored 1848 and 1895. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1848, closed 1975.

Schools and other institutions:

schoolhouse but no school taught 1818 ‘for want of the proper means of support’; school in operation by c.1830. New school opened 1862; closed 1974. Reading room founded 1882. Village hall rebuilt 2004 on site of earlier building.