Ancient parish in East ward, Westmorland, comprising townships of Great and Little Ormside.


2,713 acres [1,098 ha], divided between townships thus: Great Ormside: 2,118 acres [857 ha]; Little Ormside: 595 acres [241 ha]. Commons in Great Ormside enclosed 1773; commons in Little Ormside (259 acres [105 ha]) enclosed 1827.


around 200 throughout 19th century except during railway construction (population 686 in 1871); then fell to around 150 across 20th century, with low point of 91 in 1971; stood at 133 in 2001.


manor of Ormside held by Ormside family in 13th century; had passed to John de Derwentwater by 1310 and descended in Derwentwater and Radcliffe families (see Keswick) until 16th century. Held of Radcliffes by Barton family from 1436 or before until sold in 16th century by Thomas Barton to Sir Christopher Pickering (d.1620), passed by marriage to Hiltons and then Wyberghs until sold to George Stephenson of Warcop, whose heirs sold it to earl of Thanet 1770.


predominantly agricultural; quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century; tourism (Wild Rose caravan park established late 20th century).

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St James; extended early 16th century; Hilton chapel added 1723; restored 1885-6. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Catherine Holme built 1879; closed c.2006.

Schools and other institutions:

school built by subscription 1852; closed 1960s; converted to village hall. Residential educational centres in former railway station (run by Ruffwood School, Knowsley, 1962 to 2008; continuing) and former mill (Ormside Mill Activity Centre, established 1999). Infectious diseases hospital opened 1899; closed 1949.