Ainstable is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cumberland.

Other places in the parish include: High Ainstable, Low Ainstable, and Ruckroft.

Parish church: St. Michael

Parish registers begin: 1679

Nonconformists include: Wesleyan Methodist

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Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

AINSTABLE, a parish in Penrith district, Cumberland; between the Croglin and the Eden rivers, 7 miles E of Southwaite r. station, and 11 N by E of Penrith. It is divided into the High and Low quarters, and includes the village of Ruckcroft. Post town, Kirkoswald under Penrith. Acres, 4,178. Real property, £3,957. Pop., 543. Houses, 113. The property is subdivided.

A Benedictine nunnery was founded here by William Rufus; and its site, on high ground, is now marked by a stone pillar. Nunnery, a mansion taking name from it, stands on lower adjacent ground, amid scenery which is highly picturesque, and has been sung by Wordsworth.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £225. Patrons, the representatives of Mrs. Aglionby. The church was built from the Plumpton Walls; contains a tomb of John de Deutorem; and is in tolerable condition. Charities, £15. Dr. John Leake, the founder of the Westminster lying-in-hospital, was a native.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Ainstable, a parish in Leath ward, union of Penrith, Cumberland; 11 miles north-east of Penrith, and about 4 east of the post-road from Carlisle to Penrith.

Living, a discharged vicarage in the archd. and dio. of Carlisle; rated at £8 8s. 2½d., and in the parliamentary return at £127 1s.; gross income £225. Vicarial tithes commuted in 1818. Patron, in 1835, R. L. Ross, Esq.

There is a small endowed school at Ainstable. The endowment consists of a piece of land, let, in 1820, at £7 10s., and the interest of £15. Dr John Leake, founder of the Westminster lying-in-hospital, was a native of this parish. There is also a subscription-school here.

The pop., including that of the hamlet of Rushcroft, in 1801, was 444; in 1831,569. Houses 117. Acres 4,119. A. P. £3,668. Poor rates, in 1837, £160. There was formerly in this parish a convent of Benedictine nuns, at a place called Armathwaite, now Nunnery. It was founded by William Rufus. The grounds around it are celebrated for their picturesque scenery.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

AINSTABLE, with Ruckroft (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Penrith, Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 4½ miles (N. N. W.) from KirkOswald, and 10 miles (N. by E.) from Penrith; comprising 4177a. 18p., and containing 501 inhabitants.

This parish, which is bounded on the west by the river Eden, and on the east and south by the Croglin, abounds with beautiful scenery, particularly in the vale of Croglin, and in the vicinity of Nunnery, the seat of Major Aglionby, who has erected a spacious and elegant mansion on the site of a Benedictine convent founded here by William II., the revenue of which at the Dissolution was £18. 18. 8.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £8. 8. 2.; net income, £225; patron and impropriator, Major Aglionby. The vicarial tithes and all moduses were commuted for land under an inclosure act in 1818. The nave of the church was rebuilt in 1816, and the chancel soon afterwards. Near the parsonage-house is a chalybeate spring. John Leake, M.D., founder of the Westminster Lying-in Hospital, and author of some esteemed medical works, was born here, in 1729.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Ainstable Church

Parish Records


England, Cumberland, Ainstable – Cemeteries ( 1 )
The memorial inscriptions of Ainstable, Armathwaite, Croglin and Cumrew
Author: Godwin, Jeremy; Clarke, Pat

England, Cumberland, Ainstable – Census ( 1 )
Census returns for Ainstable, 1841-1891
Author: Great Britain. Census Office

England, Cumberland, Ainstable – Church records ( 2 )
Bishop’s transcripts for Ainstable, 1663-1833
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Ainstable (Cumberland)

Parish register transcripts, 1661-1757
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Ainstable (Cumberland)

England, Cumberland, Ainstable – Church records – Indexes ( 1 )
Computer printout of Ainstable, Cumberland, England

England, Cumberland, Ainstable – Schools ( 1 )
The county attendance register, 1884-1933
Author: Ainstable County School (Cumberland)


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  • County: Cumberland
  • Civil Registration District: Penrith
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Carlisle
  • Rural Deanery: Allerdale
  • Poor Law Union: Penrith
  • Hundred: Leath Ward
  • Province: York

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