Ancient parish in Leath ward, Cumberland, containing townships of Skelton, Lamonby (with Ellonby) and Unthank (with Laithes). CP enlarged by absorbing Hutton-in-the-Forest and Middlesceugh & Braithwaite CPs 1934.
ancient parish covered 7,417 acres [3,002 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Skelton: 2,155 acres [872 ha]; Lamonby: 2,630 acres [1,064 ha]; Unthank: 2,632 acres [1,065 ha]. Parish included c.4,000 acres [1,619 ha] of common pastures, enclosed 1767. Open fields enclosed 1787.
estimated at 615 in 1688; in 1801 it stood at 729, divided between townships as follows: Skelton: 270; Lamonby: 244; Unthank: 215. Remained fairly stable in range 600-700 from 1871 to 1931 (last census year before boundary change).
manor of Skelton held by Boyvill family from 12th century; divided after death of Helewise (d. 1272), wife of Eustace Baliol, between six heiresses. One part descended to Southaik family, who were of Hardrigg Hall, Lamonby.
predominantly agricultural; limestone quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Several inns serving traffic on Penrith-Wigton road.
Places of worship:
medieval parish church of St Mary or St Michael; nave rebuilt 1794; chancel rebuilt 1879. Supposed private chapel at Lamonby Hall in 16th century. Primitive Methodist chapels at Skelton (built 1865; now Skelton Methodist Church) and Lamonby (recorded 1901).
Schools and other institutions:
school at Skelton built 1750 by Isaac Milner; further endowment by Joseph Nelson 1818; rebuilt and enlarged 1849; replaced by modern building on new site; now Skelton Primary School. School at Lamonby by 1899; closed and converted to dwelling. Library established 1846 (with reading room, recorded 1901). Toppin Memorial Hall opened 1923, built in memory of J. C. Toppin of Musgrave Hall (d. 1915 aged 80); now housing library.