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Nichol Forest

Nichol Forest Chapelry is a part of Kirkandrews on Esk Parish, being the northeastern portion of the parish and bordering on the parishes of Bewcastle and Stapleton. It extends about ten miles along the rivers Liddel and Kershope which separate it from Scotland. Catlowdy and Scuggate are two small hamlets within the township. With the "Debatable Land", Nichol Forest formed the barony of Liddel which served as a buffer state between England and Scotland along the English West March. This area was the scene of many a raid and outrage during the reiver era. [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]

Archives and Libraries


  • History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Manchester, 1884.
  • The Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society:
    • The Barony of Liddel and its Occupants, T.H.B. Graham, N.S. Vol XI, 1911, pg. 55.



You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Nichol Forest area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • The church was entirely rebuilt and enlarged by the addition of a chancel in 1866, at a cost of £2,000. It is a handsome stone building, lighted by several stained glass windows.

Church Records

  • The following church records are available at the Carlisle office of the Cumbria Archive Service: Church of England (CRO Reference PR177):
    Baptisms Marriage Banns Burial Bishops Trans
    1761-1979 1777-1989 1824-1903 1818-1992 1756-1873

Civil Registration

  • Beginning 1 July 1837, births, deaths and marriages, regardless of religious affiliation, were recorded with Civil Registration Offices in Cumbria, as in the rest of England. Copies of certificates recording these events may be purchased.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Nichol Forest which are provided by:


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Nichol Forest has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NY455779 (Lat/Lon: 55.092547, -2.855484), Nichol Forest which are provided by:

Probate Records

  • Nichol Forest 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.

Social life and Customs

  • "The tenants of the barony, who occupied dwellings scattered along the river banks, ostensibly gained a livelihood by cultivating their lands and pasturing cattle on the waste, but it was notorious that those cattle were seldom bought in market overt." [CWAAS Transactions, NS, Vol XI, 1911 - referenced above]

[Page originated by Don Noble in 1999 and updated 12 June 1999 - Don Noble]