Ancient parish in East ward, Westmorland, embracing townships of Warcop, Sandford, Burton and Bleatarn.


11,489 acres [4,650 ha] divided between constituent townships thus: Warcop: 4,708 acres [1,905 ha]; Sandford: 2,113 acres [855 ha]; Burton: 2,666 [1,079 ha]; Bleatarn: 2,002 acres [810 ha]. Sandford ‘mire’ enclosed 1773; Bleatarn Common (720 acres [291 ha]) enclosed 1791; commons in Warcop township (720 acres [291 ha]) enclosed 1831.


around 700 in early 19th century, surging to 906 in 1861, then falling back to 652 by 1891; downward trend across 20th century to stand at 491 in 2001.


manor of Warcop held by Warcop family from early 13th century but had passed to Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland, by 1422. Said to have been regained by Warcop family 1554; then sold to Thomas Braithwaite of Ambleside 1590, with whose descendants it remained until 1740; then held by Preston and Wild families until 1957. Manor of Sandford held by Sandford family from 12th century to early 15th when passed by co-heirs to Bardsey and Warcop families; tenants enfranchised 1592 and purchased manorial rights 1690. Manor of Burton held by Hilton family by 13th century, descending in that family until marriage of Mary Hilton to Thomas Wybergh of Clifton 1713; descended through Wybergh family to 20th century; manorial rights bought by Ministry of Defence. Bleatarn was grange of Byland Abbey (Yorks.), passing after Dissolution successively to families of Bellasis, Salvin, Fothergill and Musgrave.


arming. Brough Hill livestock fair (in Warcop township), held annually on 30 September and 1 October; noted as cattle fair in later 17th century and as largest horse fair in northern England in later 19th. Lead mining from 17th century; lime-burning in 19th century. Woollen textile manufacture recorded in place-name Walk Mill (a saw mill in 1859). Warcop army training camp established 1942; continues as military training base. Tourism from later 20th century, including Eden Valley Railway since 2006, on restored section of railway (closed 1962).

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Columba; chancel rebuilt 1854-5; bellcote rebuilt 2006. Chapel of ease at Bleatarn built 1865. Inghamite chapel at Birks flourished c.1754 to 1813, after which used by other nonconformist groups; disused by 1860. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Warcop built 1821; rebuilt 1872; still in use. Methodist New Connexion chapel in Warcop built 1845; closed and converted to dwelling. Methodist Association chapel at Sandford built 1848; closed and converted to cottage c.2010.

Schools and other institutions:

two schools recorded 1818. National school built 1863; now Warcop CE Primary School. Reading room and library established 1859; new premises built 1877; extended 1920; closed 2009. Temperance hall, also used as market, built 1865; became village hall; sold 2013 and replaced by new village hall, opened 2015. Village hall at Sandford.