"NETHER DENTON lies on the south side of the Irthing, between Naworth and Upper Denton and the parish has no dependent townships. As was usual with primitive nations, its name is descriptive, and not a mere fanciful appellation, such as we, in modern times, bestow; it was one of the tons or towns of our Saxon forefathers, who named it, from its position, Dene-ton, that is, the town in the dene or valley." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]
"The church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, was erected in 1866, upon the site of the old one. It is a small but neat structure in the Early English style, consisting of the nave and chancel, with small campanile at one end, pierced for two bells but carrying only one. We have no record of the foundation of the original church, but one must have existed here at an early period after the Conquest. Robert, son of Bueth, we are told, endowed it with several acres of land and gave it to the monks of Wetheral. Robert's successor canceled the grant and gave the church to Lanercost Priory. The monks of Wetheral appealed, litigation followed, and the Papal legate terminated the dispute by a division of the profits of the living between the two houses, and the transfer of the patronage to the Bishop of Carlisle. The Wesleyan Chapel is a neat stone structure, erected in 1883, the cost raised mostly by subscription." (Extract from Bulmer's 1884 History & Directory, cited above)
Nether Denton was a part of the Howard of Naworth family estates and the Barony of Gilsland. Many of the Manorial Records are available at the Carlisle CRO, but the bulk of the family records have been deposited in the University of Durham's Library. More detailed information may be found on the Durham University Library - Special Collections website.
Nether Denton 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.
[Page originated by Don Noble on 30 Aug 1997 and updated 12 Jun 1999 - Don Noble]