Dacre is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Great Blencow, Newbiggin, Soulby, and Stainton.

Parish church: St. Andrew

Parish registers begin: 1559

Nonconformists include: Society of Friends/Quaker and Wesleyan Methodist.

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Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Dacre, a township and a parish in Penrith district, Cumberland. The township lies on the rivulet Dacre, 4½ miles SW by W of Penrith r. station; has a post-office under Penrith; and gives the title of Baron to the family of Brand. Real property, £2,177. Pop., 151. Houses, 37.

The parish contains also the townships of Stainton, Soulby, Newbiggin, and Great Blencow. Acres, 8,205. Real property, £9,124. Pop., 967. Houses, 191. The property is much subdivided.

The manor belonged to the Brands of Dacre, and passed to Hassells of Dalemain. Dacre Castle, the seat of the Brands, was converted into a farm-house, and is represented now by four square embattled towers, with connecting walls. The Brands got their title of Dacre, originally, D’Acre, from the exploits of one of them at the siege of Acre in Palestine, under Coeur de Lion; and Sir Walter Scott describes their bill-men as

“With kirtles white and crosses red
Array’d beneath the banner tall
That stream’d o’er Acre’s conquered wall.”

An ancient monastery stood here; and Athelstane, in 930, after achieving a victory in the neighbourhood, received in the monastery the homage of the Cumbrian and the Scottish kings. His victory was sung in a Saxon ode which is still extant.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £150. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is a neat edifice; and contains monuments of the Brands and the Hassells. A curious monumental structure, consisting of four stone bears clasping a rude pillar, is in the churchyard. Two schools have £9 and £191 from endowment; and other charities have £35.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

DACRE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Penrith, Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 4½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Penrith; containing, with the townships of Great Blencowe, Newbiggin, Soulby, and Stainton, 975 inhabitants, of whom 204 are in the township of Dacre.

A monastery existed here in the time of Bede; and at this place Constantine, King of Scotland, and Eugenius, King of Cumberland, placed themselves and their dominions under the authority of Athelstan. Dacre Castle was long the residence of an ancient and noble family of that name: the main body of it, consisting principally of four towers, of excellent workmanship, remains in a very perfect state.

The parish comprises by admeasurement 6466 acres, of which about 808 are wood, 300 meadow and pasture, and the rest arable: limestone is obtained.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £8, and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £120; impropriator, the Earl of Lonsdale. The small tithes of the townships of Dacre and Soulby were commuted for land, under an inclosure act, in 1806.

There is a school endowed with £140 per annum, arising from land; another with £8. 15., a third with £7. 10., and a fourth with £3, per annum. At Southwaite, in the parish, is a mineral spring.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog

Census returns for Dacre, 1841-1891

Bishop’s transcripts for Dacre, 1645-1871 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Dacre (Cumberland)

The registers of the parish of church of Dacre, Cumberland, 1559-1716 Author: Brierley, Henry, 1846-1933

[Transcript of marriages, 1559-1812, from the bishop’s transcripts for the parish of Dacre] Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Dacre (Cumberland)

Computer printout of Dacre, Cumberland, England


  • 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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