"Is bounded on the south by Leath Ward, on the west by Cumrew and Carlatton, on the north by Brampton and Hayton, and on the east by Northumberland. It contains, according to the Ordnance Survey, 8,030½ statute acres, of which 34½ are public roads and 13½ water. The rateable area is 2,879 acres, which are assessed at £2,143, and have a population of 297. The parish lies on both sides of the river Gelt, and comprehends the northern portion of the lofty range of mountains extending from Cross Fell, near Alston." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]
"The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a small edifice, capable of accommodating 150 worshippers, erected in 1828, at a cost. of £250. The old church, which had long been in a dilapidated condition, is supposed to have been built out of the ruins of an old castle, that stood upon one of the entrenchments mentioned above; and what seems to corroborate the tradition is, that there were in the walls of the old church several broken pieces of carved stone, evidently taken from some other building. On the bell, which was removed from the old church, is the following inscription "Praise thou the Lord, 0 Castle Carrock." The benefice is a rectory, in the patronage of the dean and chapter of Carlisle, and now held by the Rev. Robert Johnson Gorman. It is valued in the King's Book at £5 12s. id., but is now worth £200 a year. When the common was enclosed 290 acres were allotted to the church in lieu of all tithes. The chapel of the Independent Methodists was erected in 1853, at a cost of about £200; both the site and building were the gift of Mr. Ralph Watson." (Extract from Bulmer's 1884 History & Directory, cited above)
"The first name which appears on the manorial roll of Castle Carrock is Eustace de Vallibus, grantee under his kinsman, Hubert de Vallibus, or Vaux, upon whom Henry II conferred the barony of Gilsland as a recompense for services rendered the young prince in his contest with Stephen. The posterity of Eustace adopted the local name, and probably had their castle here which has given a name to the parish. Robert de Castle Carrock, the fourth in descent, left three daughters, among whom the manor was divided, and descended for a long time in severalties, some of which eventually passed to the Dacres. The whole is now vested in the Earl of Carlisle, whose ancestors purchased the several parts at sundry times. The principal landowners are the Exors. of tbe late John Watson, Esq., Gelt House; William Watson, Esq., Holme Eden; Ralph Watson, Garth Foot; James Proctor Watson, Esq., Gelt Hall; Mrs. Elizabeth Carrick and the resident yeomen. On the summit of the fell are two cairns, one of which, called Hespeck Raise, is of considerable magnitude. Near Gelt bridge was another cairn, and when the stones were removed in 1775, by the farmer on whose land it was situated, a cistaven or rude stone coffin was found, in which was a human skeleton. About fifteen years ago another cistaven, containing a human skeleton, was unearthed by two farmers near to Greenwell; accompanying it were an urn and a flint, probably the hatchet of the warrior chief, whose mouldered remains were thus brought to view 2,000 years after his entombment." (Extract from Bulmer's 1884 History & Directory, cited above)
Castle Carrock fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Carlisle and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records from 1548 to 1858 include original wills, letters of administration and inventories, although there are significant gaps in the years before 1661. These are deposited with the CRO at Carlisle. Comprehensive indexes exist, at the Carlisle CRO, in card files easily accessible in the reading room. The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name. Microfilm of many of these records, and a partial typescript of the indexes, is available at the Kendal office of the CRO.
The Province of York covered most of northern England, including this parish, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.