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"PENRITH, (or Perith), a parish, post and market town, in the ward of Leath, county Cumberland, 17 miles S. by E. of Carlisle, and 283 N. by W. of London. It is a station on the Lancaster and Carlisle railway. It is situated in a fertile vale enclosed by hills of varied elevation, and is watered by three small rivers, the Eamont, the Lowther, and the Petteril, and at the junction of the main roads from London and Lancashire to Glasgow. The parish includes the hamlets of Carleton, Plumptree Head, and Eamont Bridge." [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

Archives and Libraries


  • History, Gazeteer and Directory of Cumberland. Mannix and Whelan, 1847.
  • 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 Registers of St. Andrews parish church, 5 vol., Frances Haswell, Ed., PRS 26-30.
    • Records of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, P.H. Reaney, Tract Series 10, 1915
  • Bygone Penrith: a popular arrangement of the Penrith parish registers, J. A. Sweeten, 1893, Pt. 1
  • Workhouse Births, 1857, Cumbria F.H.S. Newsletter 41, 1986.
  • History of Penrith, "Ewanion", Bookcase, Carlisle, 1993. ISBN: 0951992031.
  • Legacy, The: Huttons of Penrith and Beetham, B.C. Lee, 1997. ISBN: 0953144402.


  • Roll of Honour - Cumberland - War Memorial Selection lists names on the Dent War Memorial, one of whom had parents of Penrith. Added 5 Aug 2005.
  • A project was begun in November 1998 with the intentions of indexing all inscriptions on Memorial stones in Penrith (archived copy) and making the data available on the internet and to genealogy groups who are interested. Stones included in the project are war memorials, grave stones, and other miscellaneous memorials erected in memory to Penrith residents.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Penrith 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

  • Penrith Church, dedicated to St Andrew, is a large and handsome building, in the Grecian style, built in the years 1720 and 1722, at the expense of £2253 raised by a parochial rate and voluntary contributions. "The outward fronts are constructed after a plain but neat plan, and connected with the old tower; but the inside of the edifice, for convenience and propriety, exceeds most churches in the north of England." The galleries are supported by twenty Ionic pillars, each cut from one solid block or stone, of a pale red colour, and veined. The old tower, which is of massive masonry, was suffered to remain, and in it is a peal of six bells, with chimes. In the walls of the church are preserved several inscriptions found in the old fabric; and in the south windows of the chancel are some fragments of stained glass, which have also been preserved from the old church. The chancel is also ornamented with two beautiful paintings, representing the Agony of Our Lord in the Garden, and the Angels appearing to the Shepherds, executed by Mr. Jacob Thompson, a native artist, who now resides at Hackthorpe, near Lowther. There are several marble monuments and slabs, with appropriate inscriptions, in this church, and on a brass plate is the following inscription, commemorative of the visitation of the plague... (Extract from History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, Mannix & Whellan, cited above)

Church Records

  • The following church records are available at the Carlisle office of the Cumbria Archive Service: Church of England, Christ Church (CRO Reference: PR110/2)
    Baptisms Marriage Banns Burial Bishops Trans
    1850-1994 1850-1994 1896-1967 1850-1955 1862-1897
    Church of England, St. Andrew (CRO Reference: PR110/1)
    Baptisms Marriage Banns Burial Bishops Trans
    1556-1968 1556-1990 1754-1987 1556-1878 1664-1847
    Baptisms Marriage Burial
    1848-1908 1871-1909 1846-1892
    Methodists (Wes):
      Baptisms Marriages
    Circuit Registers 1839-1913  
    Chapel Registers   1848-1899
    Methodists (Prim):
      Baptisms Marriages
    Circuit Registers 1857-1944  
    Chapel Registers   1902-1966
    Presbyterian: Baptism registers, 1751-1877 [microfilm].

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 Penrith which are provided by:


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Penrith 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 NY516301 (Lat/Lon: 54.663662, -2.751875), Penrith which are provided by:

Probate Records

  • Penrith 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 in 1999]