Chapelry and township in Greystoke parish, Leath ward, Cumberland.


5,956 acres [2410 ha]. Small open field (‘townfield’ of 11 acres [4 ha]) enclosed 1842. Threlkeld Common, covering 1,102 acres [446 ha] of fells around Saddleback/Blencathra, remains unenclosed common land.


rising from 260 in 1801 to 419 by 1881; then more rapid increase to peak of 614 by 1931; followed by decline to 454 by 2001.


manor of Threlkeld held by Threlkeld family from 13th century until death of Sir Lancelot Threlkeld (d. 1506-10), when it passed by marriage to Pickering family; manorial rights purchased by Lowther family before 1632.


hill farming; fair for sheep and cattle on first Thursday in September in early nineteenth century. Coaching inns on Penrith-Keswick turnpike road (turnpiked 1762). Station on Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway, opened 1864. Mining and quarrying: lead and zinc mining at Gategill from 17th century to 1928. Threlkeld Granite Quarry (in Castlerigg, St John’s & Wythburn township) opened 1864; closed 1982; museum on site opened 1996. Granite, concrete and pre-cast flagstone works opened near railway station in 1890s. Tourism from late 18th century.

Places of worship:

medieval chapel of St Mary, recorded c.1225. Present church built 1776, replacing thatched church. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Scales built 1842; closed and converted to dwelling c.1970. Mission room in Blease Road built 1885; used as Methodist chapel until 1959; converted to dwelling. Methodist chapel at granite quarry opened 1903; closed mid-1960s.

Schools and other institutions:

schoolmaster recorded 1659. School taught in church until schoolhouse built 1776; rebuilt on new site 1849; now Threlkeld CE Primary School. Granite Quarry School opened 1897, built and maintained by quarry company to serve employees’ families; closed 1952. Public room (now village hall) built 1901. Library recorded 1860. Tuberculosis sanatorium at Far End Row Farm opened 1904 (used as hostel from 1976 and field study centre from 1993).