Dent Chapelry, 1848
DENT, a parochial chapelry, in the parish and union of Sedbergh, W. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York, 5 miles (S.E. by S.) from Sedbergh, and 16 (E.) from Kendal; containing 1,873 inhabitants. The chapelry comprises about 26,000 acres, of which nearly 6000, by admeasurement, are inclosed, and 20,000, by computation, uninclosed common land; about 1600 acres are arable and meadow, 400 wood, and the rest pasture. It embraces a valley embosomed in high moors and fells, and watered by the river Dee, which joins the river Rawther or Rawthey a little below Sedbergh, and the Lune three miles further down. The soil in the valley is a rich alluvial earth near the river, on the hill-sides hazel and a red soil, and higher up, peat-moss, and good herbage. At Cowgill Head and at Cross are small collieries, where the coal is in seams from six to fifteen inches thick: in the upper end of the vale, on each side, are stone-slate quarries, and quarries of black and grey fossil marble; and at the head of the vale, at Stone-House, are marbleworks. There is also an abundance of rough buildingstone. Formerly the manufacture of woollen-stockings was extensively carried on; but this branch of trade has entirely ceased of late years, some few of the inhabitants only being now employed in the knitting of sailors' caps and jackets, and the weaving of calico, &c. A market is held on Friday; and fairs for cattle on every alternate Friday from February 13th to May 12th: at Whitsuntide and in September are pleasurefairs.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of twenty-four Sides-men, who must be landowners; net income, £106, with a house; impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The chapel, dedicated to St. Andrew, is an ancient structure with a tower. There are places of worship for Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Quakers. A free grammar school was founded by charter of James I., who placed it under the direction of fifteen governors, as a body corporate; the net income is about £50. A good national school was erected in 1845. About twenty years ago, a British tumulus, eighty yards in circumference, was opened on the Gate-house estate; it was walled about five feet high with thin flat stones, and had three passages from the outside, at equal distances, to the centre, where the ashes of the dead were deposited. On the Raw-Riding estate were found, about ten years since, two stone coffins containing human bones. Dent is a polling-place for the West riding.—See Cowgill.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.