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Location of parish on undated map by William Mackenzie, scanned by Sarah Reveley.

Area around the parish on undated map by William Mackenzie, scanned by Sarah Reveley.

There are four townships or constablewicks in this parish; Undermilbeck, Applethwaite, Troutbeck, and Ambleside, part of which last (as aforesaid) is in the parish of Gresmere.

Nearby places

Description & Travel

Nicolson and Burn: The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 1777. Transcribed by Anne Nichols.

 "The parish of Windermere hath received its denomination from the famous mere or lake therein. From whence the lake itself hath derived its name, is not certain. Some have imagined it to be so called from the great winds which pour down upon it from the mountains; others from its winding and turning; but Sir Daniel Fleming's conjecture seems to be most probable, that it hath received its name from the proper name of a man, as well as that of Thurstan water (now called Coningston water) in Lancashire, and that of Ulfe's water (now called Ulswater) in the confines of Westmorland and Cumberland.

This parish is bounded on the East by Kentmere in the parish of Kendal; on the South, by Crooke and Winster in the said parish of Kendal, and by Cartmell-fell in the county of Lancaster; on the West, by the bailiwick of Hawkshead in the said county of Lancaster (so that the whole lake is in this parish); and on the North, by the parish of Gresmere.

The church is dedicated to St. Martin; and is a rectory... ...Anciently, this parish, in like manner as that of Gresmere, was part of the parish of Kendal; but by length of time it hath obtained the reputation of a distinct parish.

At the appropriation of the church of Kendal to the abbey of St. Mary's York, the patronage of this chapel (as it was called) was not given to the said abbey as was that of the church of Kendal, but the same remained to Ingelram de Gynes and Christian his wife, grantees of the crown. But there was a pension of 33s 4d paid out of this chapel to the said abbey.

There are four townships or constablewicks in this parish; Undermilbeck, Applethwaite, Troutbeck, and Ambleside, part of which last (as aforesaid) is in the parish of Gresmere.

Undermilbeck is divided from Applethwaite by the brook which carries a mill there, from whence it receiveth its name; as Applethwaite may be styled Overmilbeck. Part of Undermilbeck is called Bowness, anciently Bulness; in which stands the church; which is an handsome large building, with two rows of pillars, a square tower with 3 bells and a saint's bell.

Applethwaite expresseth its own derivation. It is a long straggling hamlet, like many of the rest, or rather a number of single houses, each house being situate as is most convenient for the lands about it. It is an intire constablewick. The river Troutbeck runs at the high end of it, on the west side thereof. The great road from kendal to Keswick goes through it; and near this end, at a place called St. Catherine's Brow, was an ancient chapel, now converted into a dwelling house, but it may yet be distinguished, standing east and west, and having an end window (as in other chapels) now walled up. The large lake called Windermere-water is in this division. The islands within it are all in Windermere parish. St. Mary Holme, otherwise called Lady Holme, is.. an island in theis lake, so denominated from a chapel built anciently therein, and dedicated to the blessed virgin. About the year 1634, there were 47 persons drowned in this lake in passing the ferry, coming homeward from Hawkshead market, on a storm arising.

Troutbeck is bounded on the East by Kentmere, on the South by the mother church division, on the West by Ambleside, and on the North by Patterdale in the parish of Barton. It receives its name from the rivulet, which springs in the head of the dale, and running along the east side of this division, empties itself below Calgarth in Windermere water. In Troutbeck there is a chapel, which was consecrated.. in the year 1562, by the name of Jesus Chapel, for the use of the inhabitants of Troutbeck and Applethwaite: With a saving (as is usual in like cases) of the rights of the mother church of St. Martin in Winandermere.

Ambleside, from the similitude of the name, is supposed by Camden to have been the Amboglana in the Itinerary. But anciently it was written Hamelside, which hath not so much resemblance to the word Amboglana, but may seem rather to have been derived from the name of the owner. Ambleside is all within the manor of Windermere, but only part of it within the parish. All below the Stock is in the parish of Windermere; above the Stock, in the parish of Gresmere. In that part which is in Gresmere, stands the chapel, endowed by the inhabitants, and made parochial... in 1675."


M.I.s for Windermere were transcribed in Monumental Inscriptions of Westmorland by E. Bellasis 1888-89 and are available on Westmorland Papers.


Returns do not survive for the 'census' of 1787.

Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911.

Church History

St Mary.
Church of 1848 with aisles of 1850s, transept of 1871, and tower and chancel of 1881.
SD4098 : The Parish Church of St Mary's, Windermere by Alexander P Kapp
© Alexander P Kapp licensed under Creative Commons
This and other photographs are on the Geograph site.
Historical and architectural notes on National Heritage List English Heritage(English Heritage site).
History and description on Wikipedia.
Photograph(s) and description on VisitCumbria.
Acess and contact details on Church of England site.

St Martin. Bowness
Historical and architectural notes on National Heritage List (English Heritage site).
History and description on Wikipedia
Photograph(s) and description on VisitCumbria.
Acess and contact details on Church of England site
Carver Memorial Chapel
Congregational Chapel of 1879 by Robert Walker.
Historical and architectural notes on National Heritage List (English Heritage site).
St John Evangelist.
Cruciform church of 1886 by Joseph Pattinson.

Church Records

  St John St Martin St Mary The parish records and Bishop' Transcripts are held at the Kendal Record Office of Cumbria Archives Service.

There will be microfilm copies at Carlisle Record Office.

For searching on see Jake Prescott's list of IGI batch numbers.
  WPR103 WPR61 WPR104
Baptism registers 1886-1933 1613-1924 1856-1985
Marriage registers 1889-1980 1617-1946 1857-1983
Banns registers 1964-1983 1764-1953 1859-1971
Burial registers - 1616-1906 1857-1934
Bishops transcripts - 1634-1863 -

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The details for the parish from the Parson & White's Directory for 1829 are transcribed on Edenlinks site.

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Magna Britannica et Hibernia.Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox (Vicar of Bromfield, Essex) 45 pages, printed in 1731.
Transcription by Sarah Reveley,  Joan Fisher and Lisl Schoenwald. (Rootsweb Westmorland Listmembers)  (c)  2003

"Apelthwate, an Hamlet in Winandermere Parish, to whose Inhabitants all the Fishing upon the Mere belongs, and all the Tithe Fish to the Rector
thereof, who has a Pleasure boat upon the said Lake, and a Prescription for  so much a Boat, in Lieu of the Tithe of all the Fish that are taken in it. The Abbey of Furness had two Boats upon this Mere, the one for the Carriage of Timber, and other Commodities, and another for Fishing, given them by William de Lancaster, Baron of Kendal; but we suppose not exempt from paying the like Sum for Tithes to the Rector, as the other fishing Boats.

Troutbeck, with its Forest and Park, were the Possessions of the famous Warrior  and Politician, John, Duke of Bedford, Uncle to King Henry VI. He died possessed of them 14 Hen. VI. leaving that King his Heir, having never been married.  They were kept but a small time in that King's Hands, for we find John Beaufort, Duke of Dorset and Somerset, dying possessed of the Manor in the 22nd Year of the said King, and leaving his only Daughter, Margaret, his Heir, then but three Years old, but growing up, was married to Edmund of Hadham, Earl of Richmond, by whom she  had Henry, Earl of Richmond, who was her Heir, and afterwards King of England, by the Title of Hen. VII."


Undermilbeck, Applethwaite and Winster  Records relating to the Barony of Kendale,  CWAAS, William Farrer & John F. Curwen (editors) are available on British History Online

Supplementary Records - Windermere - Undermilbeck and Applethwaite

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Probate Records

Wills for Windermere will be at Carlisle since about 1858 but before that will be at the Preston R.O. as it was in the Diocese of Chester until that time.
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Hearth Tax records for 1674 Undermillbeck (Windermere) transcribed on Edenlinks.

Hearth Tax records for 1674 Applethwaite (Windermere) transcribed on Edenlinks.

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Last updated: February 2015 Dave Huddart

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