"CULGAITH, a chapelry in the parish of Kirkland, ward of Leath, in the county of Cumberland, 6½ miles E. of Penrith, its post town, and 1 mile N. of Temple Sowerby station on the Eden Valley railway. It is bounded on the W. by the river Eden, and on the S. by the river Tees. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Carlisle, value £80, in the patronage of the Vicar of Kirkland. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a small stone edifice." [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]



  • The Story of Culgaith and its People. Ada Huddart. 1950 Barrow Printing Co Ltd.

Church History

  • All Saints. The church is of 1758 and is a fairly simple red sandstone building with transepts. The panelling is original but the glass is Victorian, as is the West porch. A Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1830.

Church Records

  • The following church records are available at the Carlisle office of the Cumbria Archive Service: Church of England (CRO Reference: PR46)
    BaptismsMarriageBannsBurialBishops Trans
    Marriages from 1802-1880 were solemnised at Kirkland.
  • For searching on https://www.familysearch.org/en/ the IGI batchnumbers are P004831 C057941 M004831 M057941

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Culgaith which are provided by:




Historical Geography

  • Culgaith was a chapelry in the parish of Kirkland in the East of the county. It is adjacent to Kirkland, Ousby, Addingham, Langwathby and Westmorland.

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



  • Culgaith is first recorded in the reign of Henry I when the first lord of the manor was Adam FitzSwane. A mill was first mentioned in 1274. Culgaith was close enough to the Scottish border to be at risk from Scottish raids throughout the middle ages. In 1468 villagers shared a watch with neighbouring townships. Culgaith Moor was enclosed in 1773. The Midland Railway (Settle-Carlisle) was built through Culgaith 1870-73. This included a tunnel of 661 yards. The station was opened 1880.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NY610297 (Lat/Lon: 54.660867, -2.60609), Culgaith which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

  • "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names" by Eilert Ekwell (Oxford, Fourth Edition 1960), suggests Culgaith derives from the Welsh cilgoed - 'back wood', and compares it to 'Culcheth' (in Lancashire). Welsh as the language of origin seems unlikely to me in a county heavily influenced by Viking inroads, so an alternative offered (by the originator of this page) is that the name probably derives from cul - end and garth - garden, which (admittedly) is very similar! Anyone like to bet I'll have to eat my words about there being no Welsh influences? <G!>


  • Some population figures for the village of Culgaith are as follows:-

Probate Records

  • Culgaith 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 Dave Huddart and updated 29 Aug 2004 - David Hawgood]