MUNCASTER, Cumberland - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"MUNCASTER, a parish in the ward of Allerdale-above-Derwent, county Cumberland, 1 mile from Ravenglass, its post town, and railway station on the Whitehaven and Furness Junction line, and 6 miles from Booth. It is situated on the river Esk, near the coast. It contains, besides the town of Ravenglass, the townships of Muncaster and Birkby, also the hamlet of Low-Eskholm, and the old city of "Barnscar". This parish, which was anciently written Meolceastre, is 4 miles by 3 in extent, and was formerly a Roman station. The greater part of the land is still unenclosed, only a third being arable and the remainder pasture and common, with about 300 acres of woodland. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Carlisle, value £97. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient stone structure with a turret containing two bells. The E. window is of stained glass, and is in three compartments. The church contains two piscinas, numerous tablets to the Muncaster family, and four brasses of great antiquity. The parochial charities produce about £17 per annum, of which £12 goes to a school. Muncaster Castle, situated at Esk-Meol, near the mouth of the river Esk, is the seat of Lord Muncaster, who takes from this place the title of baron. It is an embattled building situated in the midst of extensive and well-wooded grounds, in which are remains of the ancient castle, the original seat of the Penningtons, comprising stone towers and obelisks, one of the former answering for a landmark at sea. Adjoining the mansion is an extensive deer park, enclosed by a lofty wall. Lord Muncaster is lord of the manor." "BIRKBY, a township in the parish of Muncaster, ward of Allendale-above-Derwent, in the county of Cumberland, 2 miles from Ravenglass. Birkby Fell is the site of an ancient town called Barnscar, the ruins of which extend over an area of about 300 square yards. Coins have been found there." "HESTHOLME, a hamlet in the parish of Muncaster, county Cumberland, 3 miles N.E. of Ravenglass, and 44 S.W. of Carlisle, near the river Eske." "SELKER, a hamlet in the parish of Muncaster, county Cumberland, 5 miles S. of Ravenglass, and 46 S.W. of Carlisle, on the coast of the Irish Sea, near the mouth of the Esk."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]