Longsleddale

Chapelry and township in Kendal parish, Kendal ward, Westmorland.

Acreage: 6,734 acres [2,725 ha], including fell commons of Sleddale Forest (1,012 acres [410 ha]), enclosed 1849, and Sadgill Common (1,990 acres [805 ha]), enclosed 1868.

Population: downward trend since 1800, falling from 187 in 1801, to 144 in 1901, 89 in 1951, and 73 in 2001. Temporarily boosted by construction of Haweswater aqueduct in 1920s and 1930s (stood at 271 in 1931).

Landownership: Leyburn and Thornburgh families prominent landowners from 13th century. James Leyburn sold extensive property in Longsleddale to Thomas Bellingham 1579 and William Thornburgh conveyed his property there to Sir James Bellingham 1629. Descended thereafter with Levens (q.v.).

Economy: predominantly hill farming. Slate quarrying: Wren Gill quarry open by 1728; closed c. 1847; reopened briefly in late 19th century; last worked by Italian prisoners of war during Second World War. Smaller quarry at Stockdalebank. Woollen textiles: two fulling mills in 1627. Bobbin mill at Sleddalefoot Mill (on boundary with Strickland Roger) in mid-19th century.

Places of worship: chapel of ease recorded 1571; rebuilt and made parochial 1712; present church of St Mary built 1863; renovated 1903.

Schools and other institutions: school taught in chapel by curates in early 18th century. School attached to chapel built 1717. New school built opposite church 1863; closed 1946 and became village hall.