Nicolson & Burn: The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 1777. Transcribed by Anne Nichols.
"Gresmere is supposed by some to have had its name from the grassy mere or lake there. But anciently it was never written Grasmere (much less Grasmire); but most commonly Gresmere, sometimes Grismere. From whence one might conclude, that it received its name from the grise or wild swine, with which this country formerly abounded. In like manner as in the adjoining parish of Barton, there is Grisedale, Boardale, Stybarrow, and such like. In Kentmere, Richard Gilpin is supposed to have fignalized [could be signalized] himself... ...for killing a wild boar, which infested all the neighbouring parts.
The parish of Gresmere is bounded on the East by Patterdale in the parish of Barton, from which it is divided by the very ridge or top of the mountains; on the South, by the parish of Windermere, from which it is divided in part by Stockbridge water; on the West, by Furness Fells in Lancashire, from which it is divided by the river Brathey; and on the North, by part of Cumberland, from which it is divided by a ridge of mountains called Langdale Fells, as the water runs off to each side of the mountain. The church is dedicated to St. Oswald, as is supposed, from a well called St. Oswald's near unto the church.
This parish (as also that of Windermere) was originally a chapelry only within the parish of Kendal; but by length of time, and little or no communication with the mother church by reason of distance, it hath acquired the reputation of a distinct parish. The church of Gresmere is situate in the midst of a large plain, encompassed almost round with high mountains. It is a pretty large building, with a strong steeple and three good bells. The owners of Ridall-hall have a peculiar burying place in the said church.
Rydal, Sir Daniel Fleming supposes to be a contraction of Rowthey-dale, from the river of that name running down there. Loughrigg evidently takes its name from the loughs or lakes with which this country abounds. It is a hamlet of itself, opposite to Rydal on the other side of the water: which being conjoined with a bridge, makes as it were one intire village, yet they are two manors. Langdale is divided into Great Langdale and Little Langdale. . . The chapel stands in Great Langdale, but it belongs also to Little Langdale and Baisbrow. In Little Langdale is a place called Chapel mire, where it is said a chapel formerly stood, which was removed and united to that of Great Langdale. Basebrowne (as it was anciently called) is within the constablewick of Langdale. Ambleside is part in this parish, and part in the parish of Windermere."
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