CP in Appleby St Michael parish, East ward, Westmorland, created 1894 and comprising townships of Murton and Hilton.


Murton township: 5,730 acres [2,319 ha], including 3,331 acres [1,348 ha] of unenclosed common on Murton Fell; Hilton township: 4,984 acres [2,017 ha], including 3,558 acres [1,440 ha] of unenclosed common on Hilton Fell.


Murton contained around 200 inhabitants in earlier 19th century and Hilton around 300. Combined population stood at 441 in 1891, then declined to low of 290 in 1971, rising to 330 by 200


manor of Murton held by Cliffords in 13th century and by Musgraves of Hartley Castle from 1315 to 1614, when sold to Thomas Hilton of Hilton. Manor of Hilton was in divided ownership in 13th century; by 15th century share held by Bacon family (‘Hilton Beacon’) came to be treated as entire manor. Descended in Hilton family from 15th century until it and Murton were sold to Sir John Lowther 1696.


pastoral farming; lead mining from medieval period; expansion in 19th century with large-scale mining in Scordale valley and smelt mill at Hilton. Operated by London Lead Co. from 1824 to 1876; re-opened 1896 for barytes; closed 1919s. Carding and spinning mill at Coupland Beck in 19th century. Bobbin mill at Murton.

Military use:

rifle range by 1897; commons taken over by Ministry of Defence for military manoeuvres 1980s.

Places of worship:

tradition of early chapel site in Murton township. Chapel of ease of St John the Baptist at Hilton built 1856. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Murton built 1837; closed 1970. United Methodist chapel at Murton built 1841; closed 1928.

Schools and other institutions:

Thwaites School endowed 1738; rebuilt 1875; closed 1971. Murton Parish Institute established c.1923; rebuilt 1970s.