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Kirkby Ireleth

KIRKBY-IRELETH, a township and a parish in Ulverston district, Lancashire. The township lies on the Duddon estuary, and on the Furness railway, 4½ miles NW of Ulverston; has a station, of the name of Kirkby, on the railway; is divided, for local purposes, into the sections of Middle Quarter, Low Quarter, Heathwaite, and Woodlands; and contains the hamlets of Beckside, Chapel, Cross-Beck, Gill-Beck, Beanthwaite, Sandside, Soutergate, and Grisebeck, the last of which has a Post office under Ulverston. Acres, 9,010. Real property, £11,844; of which £5,600 are in quarries. Pop. in 1851, 1,748; in 1861, 1,666. Houses, 332. The manor, with most of the land, belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. Kirkby-Hall was long the seat of the Kirkby family; contains some curious ancient decorations; and is now a farm house. Quarries of excellent dark blue roofing slate are on Kirkby-Moor, in Middle-Quarter; extend in a series along a hill; give constant employment to about 350 men; and send their produce to all parts of the kingdom. A large proportion of the township is moor and mountain. Many families are engaged in cockle fishing in the Duddon. The parish contains also the township of West Broughton, and that of Dunnerdale-with-Seathwaite. Acres, 25,740. Real property, £20,729. Pop. in 1951, 3,366; in 1861, 3,138. Houses, 628. The property, except in K..I. township, is much subdivided. The manor of West Broughton belonged, for several centuries till 1487, to the Broughton family; and that of Seathwaite belongs to J. J. Rawlinson, Esq. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £140. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of York. The church stands at Beckside; is ancient, but good; consists of nave, N aisle, and chancel, with a tower; and contains ancient monuments of the Kirkby family. The p. curacies of Woodlands, Broughton-in-Furness, and Seathwaite are separate benefices. There are two parochial schools, and charities £88.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Kirkby Ireleth area is Ulverston.


Description and Travel

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Kirkby Ireleth parish from Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851.

Residents in 1882 found in Mannex's directory of Furness and Cartmel.



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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "KIRKBY-IRELETH, (or Irleth), a chapelry in the parish of Dalton-in-Furness, hundred of North Lonsdale, county Lancaster, 18 miles N.W. of Lancaster. It is situated near Morecombe Bay and the Furness line of railway. Iron ore and limestone are found. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Carlisle, value £100, in the patronage of the vicar."

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  • In 1868, the parish of Kirkby Ireleth contained the following places:

    "KIRKBY-IRELETH, a parish in the hundred of Lonsdale North of the Sands, county Lancaster, 5 miles W. of Ulverston, its post town, and 27 N.W. of Lancaster. It is situated on the river Duddon, and is a station on the Furness line of railway. It contains the townships of Broughton and Dunderdale-with-Leathwaite, and is divided into four districts, called Heathwaite, Woodlands, Low Quarter, and Middle Quarter. The parish is chiefly moorland, but some parts are enclosed and well cultivated. There are extensive slate quarries in the Middle Quarter, employing between 300 and 400 hands. Copper and iron abound. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the cockle fishing, for which the Duddon is famous. An extensive tract of land has been reclaimed from the sea, near the mouth of the Duddon. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle, value £125, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York. The church, situated at Beckside, is an ancient stone structure with a tower containing five bells. It is dedicated to St. Cuthbert, and has a stained-glass window and some ancient monuments. There is also a district church at Broughton-in-Furness, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value 108. At Middle Quarter is a Baptist chapel and a parochial school, and there is a church school at Beckside. Kirkby Hall, formerly the seat of the Kirkby family, is now a farmhouse. The Earl of Burlington is lord of the manor."

    "DUNNERDALE, a township in the parish of Kirkby Ireleth, hundred of Lonsdale North of the Sands, in the county palatine of Lancaster, 3 miles N. of Broughton. Ulverston is its post town. It is situated on the river Duddon, and is united with the township of Seathwaite, forming one chapelry for ecclesiastical purposes. There is a small stone church at Seathwaite. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Carlisle, value £80, in the patronage of J. J. Rawlinson, Esq., of Duddon Hall, who is lord of the manor. There is a parochial school for both sexes."

    "HEATHWAITE, a chapelry in the parish of Kirkby Ireleth, hundred of Lonsdale North of the Sands, county Lancaster, 3 miles E. of Broughton, and 6 S.W. of Hawkshead. It is situated near the river Duddon, which separates it from the county of Westmoreland, and is united with Woodland."

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Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Kirkby Ireleth contained the townships of Kirkby Ireleth, Broughton West, Dunnerdale & Seathwaite and Angerton.

Information about boundaries and administrative areas is available from A Vision of Britain through time.

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



The history of Kirkby Ireleth as described in Mannex's directory of Furness and Cartmel, 1882.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Kirkby Ireleth was in the peculiar of the Dean of the Chapter of York whose records are deposited at the Borthwick Institute. A list of the probate records at York which relate specifically to the ancient parish of Kirkby Ireleth (including Broughton-in-Furness and Seathwaite) is available at Cumbria Record Office, Barrow.


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.