HAWKSHEAD, a small town, a township, a parish, and a sub-district, in Ulverston district, Lancashire. The town stands in a sheltered valley, at the head of Esthwaite water, 2 miles W of Windermere lake, 4 E by N of Coniston r. station, and 5 SW by S of Ambleside; is surrounded by a picturesque country, with many of the finest features of the Lake region; dates from very ancient times; was long the capital of Furness, and a seat of the courts of justice of Furness abbey; has a compact form, with a rather spacious market place; contains a number of old, quaint, picturesque houses; is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling place; and has a post office under Windermere, a good inn, a modern town hall, a church, a Baptist chapel, a grammar school, a national school, and some charities. The church was founded about the time of the Conquest; retains the piers and arches of its original masonry; was rebuilt, in the time of Elizabeth, by Archbishop Sandys; has a massive square tower; contains effigies of Archbishop Sandys' parents; and stands on an elevation, with a fine view. The churchyard contains the grave of the distinguished Miss Elizabeth Smith. The grammar school was founded by Archbishop Sandys; has an endowed income of £210, and a good library; and numbers, among its pupils, Dr. Walker, Dr. Wordsworth, the poet Wordsworth, Lord Abinger, Sir Frederick Pollock, and Dr. King. A weekly market is held on Monday; and fairs, on Easter Monday, the Monday before Holy Thursday, and 2 Oct. The township bears the name of Hawkshead-with-Monk-Coniston and Skelwith; and includes the hamlets of Borwick, Henakin, and Gallowbarrow. Acres, 9,152. Real property, £6,720. Pop., 1,144. Houses, 234. The manor belonged formerly to Furness abbey; and belongs now to the Duke of Buccleuch. The parish contains also the townships of Claife and Satterthwaite, and comprises 19,252 acres. Real property, £13,219. Pop. in 1851, 2,283; in 1861, 2,081. Houses, 415. The property, in many parts, is subdivided. Much of the land is hilly pasture. Slate and building stone are quarried; copper ore is worked; and iron ore and other useful minerals occur. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £150. * Patron, the Duchy of Lancaster. The chapelries of Satterthwaite, Brathay, and Low Wray are separate benefices. There are chapels of ease in Skelwith and Claife, and a Quakers' chapel at Colthouse. The sub-district contains also part of Ulverston parish. Acres, 30,132. Pop., 3,599. Houses, 717.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)