ULVERSTON - popularly Ooston - a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Lancashire. The town stands on the Furness railway, near the influx of the river Leven to Morecambe bay, 5 miles NE of Dalton-in-Furness; belonged to the Saxon magnate Ulph or Ulpha; was given, by King Stephen, to Furness abbey; superseded Dalton, after the dissolution of monasteries, as practically the capital of Furness; is now a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling place; publishes two weekly newspapers; carries on brewing, iron-founding, the manufacture of linens, checks, ginghams, and wood-hoops, and a considerable coasting trade; presents a modern, well built, cleanly appearance, with streets branching from a market place; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, two hotels, a court-house, a police station, a concert-hall built in 1850, a temperance hall, an iron market-cross of 1821, a parochial church restored in 1864, another church built in 1832, three dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a subscription library, a people's library, an endowed school with £31 a year, two proprietary schools, a national school, a workhouse, charities £56, a weekly market on Thursday, five annual fairs, and races or flan-sports in Aug. Pop. in 1851, 6,433; in 1861, 6,630. Houses, 1,348.

The township comprises 2,900 acres. Real property, £27,611; of which £106 are in ironworks, £536 in canals, £35 in railways, and £327 in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 6,742; in 1861, 7,414. Houses, 1,495. The parish contains also 8 other townships, and comprises 24,586 acres. Pop. in 1851, 10,623; in 1861, 11,464. Houses, 2,278. Lightburne House, Springfield House, Swarthdale, Ford House, Flaw How, Daltongate House, and Conishead Priory are chief residences. The surface is much diversified; and ranges from luxuriant level, through gentle swells and broken eminences, to high bleak moors and soaring mountains. Hoad hill, on the NE side of the town, rises to an altitude of 450 feet; commands an extensive and charming view; and is crowned by a column, 40 feet in diameter and 100 feet high, erected in 1850 to the memory of Sir John Barrow. Swarth moor, about a mile S of the town, was the camping-ground of the German supporters of the impostor Simnel. Limestone, blue and green slate, iron ore, and copper ore abound. A canal, with capacity for vessels of 200 tons, connects the town eastward with the Leven estuary, and was cut in 1795 by Rennie. The monk Richard de Ulverston and Sir John Barrow were natives; and the antiquarian West and the Quaker John Fox were residents. Both the head living and that of Trinity are p. curacies in the diocese of Carlisle. Value of the former, £160; of the latter, £143. Patron of both, the Rev. A. Peache. The p. curacies of Blawith, Coniston, Lowick, Torver, and Egton and Newland also are separate benefices.

The sub-district contains UIverston, Osmotherley, and Mansriggs townships, and Pennington parish. Acres, 7,317. Pop. in 1851, 7,620; in 1861, 8,781. Houses, 1,749. The district includes also Cartmel, Colton, Dalton, West Broughton, and Hawkshead sub-districts; and comprises 135,043 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £11,496. Pop. in 1851, 30,556; in 1861, 35,738. Houses, 6,832. Marriages in 1863, 265; births, 1,375, of which 125 were illegitimate; deaths, 786, of which 287 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,344; births, 11,812; deaths, 6,644. The places of worship, in 1851, were 37 of the Church of England, with 13,760 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 660 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 822 s.; 3 of Quakers, with 422 s.; 5 of Wesleyans, with 822 s.; and 1 of Brethren, with 32 attendants. The schools were 38 public day-schools, with 2,175 scholars; 87 private day-schools, with 2,017 s.; 48 Sunday schools, with 3,517 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 26 s.

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