Ancient parish in Cumberland ward, Cumberland, containing three townships of High & Low Thursby, Crofton, and Parton & Micklethwaite.
3,142 acres [1,272 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: High and Low Thursby: 1,474 acres [596 ha]; Crofton: 1,013 acres [409 ha]; Parton and Micklethwaite: 654 acres [264 ha]. Thursby and Micklethwaite commons (75 acres [30 ha]) enclosed 1819.
estimated at 535 in 1688; stood at 403 in 1801, rising to 591 in 1851, when bulk of population lived in Thursby; Crofton and Parton & Micklethwaite townships contained around 100 inhabitants each. Parish population remained fairly constant to 1931; then rose to 917 in 1951, continuing to grow to 1,185 by 2001.
manor of Thursby held by Guy de Boyvill of Kirksanton in mid-13th century and by Ogle family from mid-14th century to later 15th. Later held by Dacres as part of barony of Burgh. Manor of Crofton held by de Crofton family in 13th and 14th centuries, passing by marriage of Margaret Crofton to Isold Brisco in late 14th century to Brisco family, in which it descended until sold in 1908 (Crofton Hall demolished c.1958). Manor of Parton passed from Parton family though various families until sold by Robert Carliell to William Denton of Cardew late 14th century; descended in Denton family until George Denton sold it to Sir John Lowther 1686, from whom it descended to earls of Lonsdale.
predominantly agricultural: described by Thomas Denton 1688 as rich arable and meadow lands, enriched by River Wampool. Crofton estate taken over by Land Settlement Association 1935 and divided into smallholdings; scheme continued until 1970s.
Places of worship:
medieval parish church of St Andrew; rebuilt 1845-6. Mission room at Micklethwaite recorded 1901.
Schools and other institutions:
school built by subscription 1740, endowed by Thomas Thomlinson 1798; rebuilt 1848 and extended 1876. Demolished and replaced by modern building on edge of village; now Thursby Primary School. Reading room and library established in school, 1881. Recreation hall in Thursby village (a wooden hut purchased from Gretna) opened 1922; replaced 2010 by new Parish Hall.