The History and Antiquities of Allerdale Ward

The Ward of Allerdale above Derwent comprises the south-western portion of the county of Cumberland, extending along the coast from Workington to Millom. Its length from north to south is 35 miles, and its greatest breadth about 15 miles. It is bounded on the south, by the Duddon, which divides it from Lancashire; on the west, by the Irish Sea; on the north, by the Derwent, which divides it from Derwent Ward; and on the east, by Derwent Ward and Lancashire. It forms part of the deanery of Copeland, in the archdeaconry of Richmond and diocese of Chester. This ward is watered by the Derwent, the Duddon, the Esk, the Calder, the Bleng, the Ehen or Enn, the Irt, and the Mite.

The Ward of Allerdale above Derwent, until lately, included the whole of the barony of Copeland, now called Egremont, and the honor of Cockermouth, and was given to William de Meschines, Earl of Cambridge, by his elder brother, Ranulph, Earl of Chester, who had received a grant of the county from William the Conqueror. At this time, the barony was bounded by the Derwent, the Duddon, and the Irish Sea; but "so much of the same as lieth between the rivers of Cocker and Derwent," William de Meschines re-granted to Waldieve, Lord of Allerdale, son of Gospatrick, Earl of Dunbar, with the honor of Cockermouth and the lordship of "the five towns above Cocker" - Brigham, Dean, Eaglesfield, Braithwaite, and Greysouthen.

The 23 parishes comprising this ward are:

  1. Arleedon Parish
  2. Bootle Parish
  3. Cleator Parish
  4. Corney Parish
  5. Distingon Parish
  6. Drigg Parish
  7. Egremont Parish
  8. Gosforth Parish
  9. Hale Parish
  10. Harrington Parish
  11. Irton Parish
  12. Lampleigh Parish
  13. Millom Parish
  14. Moresby Parish
  15. Muncaster Parish
  16. Ponsonby Parish
  17. St. Bees Parish
  18. St. Breidget's, Beckermet Parish
  19. St. John's, Beckermet Parish
  20. Waberthwaite Parish
  21. Whicham Parish
  22. Whitbeck Parish
  23. Workington Parish

Each parish has a chapter devoted to its history and antiquities. Included are the manors of the parish, along with the manor's owners over the years. Included also, is usually a brief genealogy of the family owning the manor at the time of the writing. Further information can be found concerning the church, various features unique to the landscape of the parish, such as ports, etc.

Read this Book - Free


Cumberland, England Census Records

Along with this wonderful free manuscript, those interested in the genealogy of Allerdale Ward can view the following records online. Since the above manuscript covers a wide variety of parishes, I'm going to provide links direct to the census years for Cumberland County, and allow you to find the appropriate civil parish.

After separating census records into groups by county, the British Government subdivided these records into civil parish groups. Many times, but not always, the civil parish name is the same as the local ecclesiastical parish. Researchers should also be aware of boundary line or jurisdictional changes through time. These changes may affect where an ancestor was recorded on the census, so it remains important to search the parishes surrounding the area where your ancestor lived.