Ancient parish in East ward, Westmorland, which included village of Newbiggin-on-Lune.


16,407 acres [6,640 ha], including 6,806 acres [2,755 ha] of surviving common land on Ravenstonedale Common and Ravenstonedale Moor. Parish divided into four ‘angles’ for local administration: Town Angle (2,355 acres [953 ha] of rateable land), covering Ravenstonedale village and north-east of parish; Bowderdale Angle (c.942 acres [381 ha]), covering Bowderdale and Weasdale valleys; Fell-End Angle (1,545 acres [625 ha]), covering south-east corner of parish; and Newbiggin Angle (1,425 acres [577 ha]), covering Newbiggin-on-Lune.


downward drift from 1,138 in 1801 to 838 in 1901 and 570 in 2001. Temporarily inflated to 1,262 in 1861 as result of railway construction.


manor of Ravenstonedale granted by Torphin to Gilbertine Priory of Watton (Yorks.) in 12th century. At Dissolution bought (after grant for life to archbishop of York) by Sir Thomas Wharton, descending in Wharton family until sold after attainder of duke of Wharton 1728 to Robert Lowther of Maulds Meaburn, from whom it descended to earls of Lonsdale.


predominantly agricultural; quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Lead mining at Fell End Clouds in 19th century. Market at Ravenstonedale (obsolete by mid-19th century); Whitsunditde fair and three cattle fairs in 19th century. South Durham & Lancashire Union railway station at Newbiggin (opened 1861; closed 1952) fostered growth of market function there: Tuesday butter market at Newbiggin by 1885.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Oswald; tower rebuilt 1738, remainder 1744. Footings of Gilbertine cell to north of church. Supposed medieval chapel near St Helen’s Well, Newbiggin. St Aidan’s church, Newbiggin, built 1892; closed and converted to dwelling early 1980s. Protestant nonconformity strong in parish: High Chapel, built 1727 for Presbyterian congregation; became Independent (Congregational) 1811; then United Reformed; closed 2006 (converted to community and heritage centre). Quaker meeting house, Fell End, built 1705; closed 1790s (when meeting moved to Narthwaite); demolished 1899. Quaker meeting house at Narthwaite built 1823; closed 1907. Wesleyan Methodist chapel (Low Chapel) built 1839; still in use. Primitive Methodist chapel at Newbiggin built 1837; closed. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Fell End built 1861; still in use. New Methodist Church at Newbiggin built 1939; still in use.

Schools and other institutions:

grammar school founded by Thomas Fothergill 1688; rebuilt as public elementary school 1872; extended 1895; now Ravenstonedale Endowed Primary School. British school at Newbiggin built by subscription 1872; closed. Fell End school built by subscription 1872; closed c.1956. Reading rooms at Ravenstonedale (built 1891; still open) and Newbiggin. Newbiggin Public Hall built 1925.