Township in Bridekirk parish, Allerdale below Derwent ward, Cumberland.
1,240 acres [502 ha]; reduced to 1,108 acres [448 ha] after loss of the Goat area, beside River Derwent, to Cockermouth UD 1934. Papcastle and Dovenby commons (totalling 262 acres [106 ha]) enclosed 1842.
rising from 283 in 1801 to 736 in 1861, as result of industrial growth at Goat; then declining to 549 in 1931 (last census year before boundary change). Reduced CP, containing village of Papcastle, grew from 266 in 1951 to 449 in 1971; stood at 406 in 2001.
site of Roman fort of DERVENTIO said to have been caput of Allerdale barony before Cockermouth (q.v.) in 12th century. Manor of Papcastle descended with barony until mid-16th century, when it was bought by William, Baron Dacre of Gilsland. In Crown hands after attainder of Leonard Dacre in 1571; sold to Lamplughs of Dovenby Hall by the early 17th century and descended with Dovenby (q.v.) the
Goat took its name from mill-race (Old English gota = watercourse), suggesting early industrial activity. Flax weaving started early 19th century at Goat mills, developing to major enterprise by Harris family at Derwent Mill, built 1834; closed 1934; used as shoe factory from 1940 to 1990. Other industrial activity at Goat in 20th century included James Walker’s (gasket manufacturers) and other small industrial units.
Places of worship:
chapel of St Osyth (location unknown) recorded 1475-1521; Anglican mission church built in village 1875; closed 2002.
Schools and other institutions:
day school planned for new mission 1877, but never opened. Reading room, now village hall, opened 1895.