Ancient parish in Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland.


8,160 acres [3,302 ha], including c.3,000 acres [c.1,215 ha] of common moor and fell, enclosed 1815. Parish was divided into four townships or constablewicks: Gosforth, Low Bolton, High Bolton and Boonwood & Seascale. Seascale was detached 1897 to form separate CP containing 1,063 acres [430 ha].


estimated at 630 in 1688. Rose rapidly across mid-19th century, from 330 in 1801, reaching 1,327 in 1891 (last census year before Seascale was separated). Population of remainder of parish was c.930 in early and mid-20th century but rose from 1970s to stand at 1,230 in 2001.


parish contained three manors: Gosforth, Bolton and Newton or Seascale. Manor of Gosforth held by de Gosford family in 13th century; divided between five co-heiresses after death of Robert de Gosford 1316. Manor of Bolton in hands of de Waberthwaite family in 13th century; held by branch of Senhouse family by 18th century; had passed to Charles Lutwidge by 1777 and remained in Lutwidge family of Holmrook Hall for much of 19th century. Manor of Newton and Seascale was held by Senhouse family from c.1270 until lost by mortgage c.1707. Reacquired by branch of Senhouses 1800 but sold after death of Sir Humphrey le Fleming Senhouse (d. 1841) to Anthony Benn Steward, from whom it passed to Falcon-Steward family.


predominantly agricultural. Two cattle fairs annually at Boonwood (on former common land assigned for that purpose at enclosure); had discontinued by 1930s. Woollen textile industry implied by name Walk Mill (i.e. fulling mill). Sandstone quarrying and basket-making in mid-19th century. Afforestation (Blengdale Forest) mid-20th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Mary (Gosforth cross and other Viking age sculpture suggest pre-Conquest foundation); rebuilt 1896-9. St Cuthbert’s chapel of ease, Seascale, originated as iron church 1881; rebuilt 1890. Wesleyan Methodist chapels in Gosforth village (built 1874) and at Seascale (built 1887); both still in use. St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Seascale, built 1960.

Schools and other institutions:

parish school (unendowed) recorded 1818; rebuilt 1873; now Gosforth CE Primary School. School (near School Tarn) on Seascale Moor built c.1830; replaced by Seascale CE school, Halsenna Road, opened 1873; closed 1951 when new Seascale Council School built. Preparatory school at Seascale, recorded 1901. Harecroft Hall School (independent preparatory school) opened 1925; closed 2008. Library and reading room at Gosforth, established 1860. Parish hall built 1930.


developed as resort after arrival of Whitehaven & Furness Junction Railway 1849. Scawfell Hotel built beside station by 1860. Plans for seaside resort in 1879 not fully realised, though visitor accommodation and golf links created by 1900; expanded as dormitory settlement for munitions workers and, later, workers at Sellafield, from 1940s.