Topics > Civil Parishes in Cumbria > Lorton Civil Parish

Lorton Civil Parish

Parish boundaries may have changed - for the latest map see the Parish Council or Cumberland Council.

About the Parish

Main Settlements:

High Lorton, Low Lorton


253  (2021 Census)

256  (2011 Census)

250  (2001 Census)

Area: 22.2 km2
Parish Council:

Lorton Parish Council

-Working as part of the Melbreak Communities (Blindbothel CP, Buttermere CP, Loweswater CP and Lorton CP)

Unitary Authority: Cumberland Council
Ceremonial County: Cumbria


Ancient Township:

Lorton Township 

Townships and chapelries became civil parishes in their own right in 1866 (see below).

Ancient Chapelry:

Lorton Chapelry  (St. Cuthbert)

Lorton had become a parochial chapelry by the 16th century.

The Chapelry of Lorton included the townships of Lorton, Brackenthwaite and Wythop ie. covering a wider area than the modern civil parish.

Ancient Parish:

Brigham Parish  (St Bridget)

Ancient parishes refer to the parishes before the split between ecclesiastical (church) and civil parishes in the 19th century. They had a parish church and often were composed of multiple townships and chapelries. In many cases, townships and parishes were originally based on the territory of manors from the feudal system during medieval times. Civil parishes were created following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1866, in which Church of England parishes, extra-parochial areas, townships and chapelries, became "civil parishes" which could set their own poor rate (tax). Then the reforms of Local Government Act 1894 established elected civil parish councils (or parish meetings for parishes with less than 300 residents) and created urban and rural districts. Boundaries of parishes and civil parishes may have changed over time.

Ancient District:

Allerdale above Derwent (ward)

Poor Law Union:

Cockermouth Poor Law Union, formed in 1838.

Cockermouth Union Workhouse was located by Sullart Street in Cockermouth, opening in 1841. This replaced smaller existing workhouses in Cockermouth, Maryport and Workington.

Under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 parishes were grouped into Unions, each of which had to build a workhouse if they did not already have one. It ended the old system of locally provided poor relief which had come under strain as numbers out of work grew, following increasing mechanisation of agriculture and the economic downturn after the Napoleonic Wars, along with changing social attitudes. The workhouse provided those unable to support themselves financially with accommodation and work. Inmates were generally segregated into men, women, boys and girls. 

The workhouse system was abolished by the Local Government Act 1929, but many workhouses lived on as ‘Public Assistance Institutions’ until the National Assistance Act 1948.


Cumberland, until 1974, then:

Cumbria, which was created on the 1st of April 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972. The new county absorbed Cumberland and Westmorland, and added some parts of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Cumbria County Council was abolished in 2023 and replaced by 2 new Unitary authorities. Cumbria remains a ceremonial county; retaining ceremonial boundary and the roles and responsibilities of the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Cumbria - based on 'The Cumbria (Structural Changes) Order 2022'.

District Council:

Cockermouth Rural District (1894 - 1974)

Allerdale Borough (1974 - 2023)  Created by the Local Government Act 1972. Allerdale absorbed the former municipal borough of Workington; the urban districts of Maryport, Cockermouth and Keswick; and the rural districts of Cockermouth and Wigton.

Allerdale and the 5 other district councils of Cumbria, along with the county council, were abolished as part of local government reorganisation in 2023; and replaced by two unitary authorities on 1st April 2023.

Unitary Authority:

Cumberland Council was created on the 1st April 2023. The 'new' Cumberland unitary authority area includes most of the historic county, with the exception of Penrith and it's surrounding area, which is part the 'new' Westmorland and Furness unitary authority.


See also:  Historic Buildings and Monuments in Lorton Civil Parish. Note: listed buildings are generally the responsibility of the county council / unitary authority, rather than the parish council.

Civil Parishes in Cumbria Low Lorton High Lorton Anne Fisher (1719 - 1788) Historic Buildings and Monuments in Lorton Civil Parish Lorton Parish, 1848
High Lorton
  Co-Curate Page
High Lorton
Low Lorton
  Co-Curate Page
Low Lorton
from https://www.cumbriacountyhist…
- "Township in Brigham parish, Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland....medieval chapel of ease (chaplain recorded 1198) dedicated to St Cuthbert, had become parochial by 16th century; rebuilt 1807-9. Wesleyan Methodist chapel, …

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://melbreakcommunities.w…
The Melbreak Communities
- "The four parishes of Blindbothel, Buttermere, Loweswater and Lorton working together....The Melbreak Communities comprises the four parishes of Blindbothel, Buttermere, Lorton and Loweswater, just south of Cockermouth in West Cumbria, …

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://melbreakcommunities.w…
Lorton Parish Council
- Pages on the The Melbreak Communities Website.

Added by
Simon Cotterill
Anne Fisher (1719 - 1788)
  Co-Curate Page
Anne Fisher (1719 - 1788)
- "Anne Fisher (1719-1778) A pioneering educationalist. Published A New Grammar (1745). Ran a girl's school on Denton Chare (1745-1750) Raised nine daughters whilst working alongside her husband, Thomas Slack (m1751) …


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Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.