Some history on Rockcliffe in the county of Cumberland


Rockcliffe Pubs

1897 Kelly's Directory

Rockcliffe is a parish, comprising two districts, called respectively Rockcliffe Churchtown and Rockcliffe Castletown, locally known as Churchtown and Castletown, and together, with the hamlet of Cargo [transferred from Stanwix parish in 1869], form an ecclesiastical parish ; it is in the Northern division of the county, Cumberland petty sessional division, Eskdale ward, union and county court district of Carlisle, rural deanery of Carlisle North and archdeaconry and diocese of Carlisle. The village is in Rockcliffe Churchtown, and has a station three-quarters of a mile distant, on the Caledonian railway ; it is about 5 miles north-west from Carlisle and 6 south from Longtown, and is pleasantly situated on a lofty cliff of considerable extent, above the river Eden, and commanding very beautiful and extensive views of the adjacent country. Part of the old parish was assigned in 1871 to form, with Westlinton, the new parish of Blackford ; the parish is intersected by the Caledonian railway, which has stations at Rockcliffe and Floriston, and by the North British railway, which has a station at Harker. The Eden fisheries [leased by Mr. Thomas Robinson of Cargo, from the Earl of Lonsdale] give useful employment to the inhabitants, and afford good sport to the salmon angler in the autumn. The church of St. Mary, rebuilt in 1848, is an edifice of stone in the Decorated style of the 14th century, and consists of chancel, nave, transept, south porch and a western tower with spire containing one bell : it was almost completely destroyed by lightning in November, 1899, and rebuilt the following year, at a cost of nearly £2,000, and affords 172 sittings. The registers date from the year 1679. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £240, with 16 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, and held since 1911 by the Rev. Robert Cowley Powles M.A. of Magdalen College, Oxford. The Reading Room, built in 1882. at the expense of the late G. W. Mounsey-Heysham esq. and supported by subscriptions, has a library of about 500 volumes; it is under the management of a committee of working men of the parish. Usher's Charity of 11s. yearly, for distribution in money, arises from about £22 in Consols, held by the Charity Commissioners. The late Miss Grice, in 1894, left the churchwardens a sum of £100 in trust, for the benefit of the poor of the parish, and this gift has also been transferred to the Charity Commissioners. Castletown House, on the banks of the Eden, is a fine mansion of stone, with grounds of 35 acres in extent, and is the seat of Mrs. Mounsey-Heysham. The Earl of Lonsdale is the lord of the manor of Westlinton; Mrs. Mounsey-Heysham, Mrs. Oliphant Sheffield, of Broadfield House, Southwaite, and Mrs. Mounsey, of the Hill, Churchtown, are the principal landowners. The soil is various; subsoil, loam. The chief crops are oats, turnips and potatoes. The area of the township is 5,076 acres of land, including nearly 2,000 acres of fine marsh, which abounds with game and wild fowl, 13 of inland and 481 of tidal water and 2,279 of foreshore; rateable value, £6,185; the population in 1911 was, township, 545; ecclesiastical parish, 632. Sexton, John Sinclair.

Cargo is a straggling village, on the north bank of the river Eden, 2 miles south from Rockcliffe station, and extending 3 miles north-west of Carlisle. For civil purposes Cargo was transferred in November, 1912, from Stanwix to Kingmoor and for ecclesiastical purposes it was transferred in 1869 from Stanwix to the parish of Rockcliffe. Here is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, seating about 80 persons. Thomas Robinson esq. is the principal landowner.

Photographs of Rockcliffe

Rockcliffe : Multiview Postcard [c.1955]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

Rockcliffe : Church of Saint Mary following a lightning strike [1899]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

Contemporary Photographs

Rockcliffe : Church of Saint Mary [2024]
© Photo taken by author on June 21st, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Rockcliffe : Norse Cross in churchyard of Saint Mary [2024]
© Photo taken by author on June 21st, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Rockcliffe : Esk Vale from churchyard of Saint Mary [2024]
© Photo taken by author on June 21st, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Rockcliffe : War Memorial in churchyard of Saint Mary [2024]
© Photo taken by author on June 21st, 2024. DO NOT COPY

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Related Newspaper Articles

"The damage occasioned by the recent storm and flood is considerable in this neighbourhood, especially to property lying close to the banks of the river. Both wind and flood have aided in the general destruction. House-tops, chimneys, windows, and walls are either altogether gone or partially destroyed. Huge trees have been torn up by the roots, and fences overturned. People were obliged to fly from their houses for safety from falling chimneys, and the other hand escape was rendered difficult by the encroachment of the flood. Many houses ware inundated, and the ferry-boat was put in requisition to carry persons across the highway which was converted into roaring torrent. It is long, very long since had such a succession of disasters."
Carlisle Patriot : January 1st 1853 Page 3

"A bullock belonging to Mr. Andrew Bell, Mossband Hall Farm, Gretna, was killed when it was struck a 'bus on Tuesday night. The 'bus belonged to the Caledonian Omnibus Co., Ltd., and was driven by Baden Powell Kean, 11 Kirkowens Street, Dumfries. The bullock had strayed on to the road opposite Mossband Hall Cottages, and the 'bus driver in the black-out failed to observe the animal until he was almost on it. Kean swerved to avoid it, but the unfortunate animal was struck and was found to be dead."
"Bullock Killed By Bus"
Dumfries and Galloway Standard : November 2nd 1940 Page 5

Beer label for Extra Pale Ale brewed at the Carlisle Old Brewery

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