Ancient parish in Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland, including village of Silecroft. CP enlarged by absorbing Whitbeck CP 1934.


4,883 acres [1976 ha], including part of 4,303 acres [1,742 ha] of unenclosed common fell on Black Combe and White Combe in Whicham and Whitbeck parishes.


estimated at 445 in 1688; in range 230-330 for much of 19th century, rising to peak of 455 in 1891, from which it fell to 319 in 1931 (last census year before boundary change).


manor of Whicham held by Bethom family in 13th century and Corbet family by early 14th; by 19th century lordship had passed to earls of Lonsdale. ‘Satherton’ (north-eastern part of parish) retained under direct lordship of lords of Millom.


predominantly agricultural; brick- and tile-making at Silecroft in later 19th century; lead mining (recorded in place-name ‘Lead Mine Breast’). Pencils of Black Combe slate manufactured in parish in early 19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Mary; restored and enlarged 1858.

Schools and other institutions:

endowed National school beside church, formerly Whicham and Millom Grammar School, apparently founded before 1540; rebuilt 1862; closed 1970s. Parish room built at Silecroft by 1922; now Silecroft village hall.