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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Appleby-in-Westmorland, a market town and civil parish in the Eden district of Cumbria, England, had a population was 3,048 at the 2011 Census.[1] Traversed by the River Eden, Appleby is the county town of the historic county of Westmorland. It was known simply as Appleby until 1974, when its council of the successor parish to the borough, changed its name to preserve the name Westmorland, which had been abolished as a county under the Local Government Act 1972.[2] It lies 13.7 miles (22 kilometres) south-east of Penrith, 32.2 miles (52 kilometres) south-east of Carlisle, 27.2 miles (44 kilometres) north-east of Kendal, 45.2 miles (73 kilometres) west of Darlington and 61.2 miles (98 kilometres) west of Middlesbrough.


St Lawrence's Parish Church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.[3] Appleby Castle was founded by Ranulf le Meschin in the early 12th century. The Borough of Appleby was established by a royal charter in 1179, and its Moot Hall was built c. 1596,[4] with surviving timbers in the roof felled between 1571 and 1596.[5] In the Second English Civil War it was placed under a siege, during which the Regicide Major General Thomas Harrison was wounded.[6]


Appleby is overlooked by the privately owned Appleby Castle, a largely Norman structure that served as home for Lady Anne Clifford in the 17th century. Appleby's main industry is tourism, due to its history, remote location, scenery and closeness to the Lake District, the North Pennines, Swaledale and Howgill Fells.

From 1973, Appleby Castle was the headquarters of Ferguson Industrial Holdings Plc.[7][8][9] WA Developments Limited, now Stobart Rail Limited, was long based in Appleby as a civil engineering company founded by Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart and specialising in railway maintenance.[10]


Gypsy horses in the River Eden
Gypsy horses in the River Eden

Appleby and its surrounding villages host several ancient annual events. The most notable are Warcop Rushbearing, dating back to at least 1716[11] and Appleby Horse Fair, a four-day event held in the first weekend of June.[12] The earliest record of the fair, a charter from Henry II, is from the 12th century[citation needed], but it is believed to have a longer history.

Appleby Agricultural Society, established in 1841.[13] hosts the annual Appleby Agricultural Show. More recently, the town has held an annual themed carnival. Other events in and around Appleby are described on the town's community website.[14]


Appleby was a parliamentary borough from medieval times, electing two Members of Parliament. By the 18th century, it had become a pocket borough, the nomination of whose MPs was effectively in the gift of the Lowther family. They included William Pitt the Younger, who was MP for Appleby when he became Prime Minister in 1783, although he stood down at the following general election in favour of one seat on Cambridge University.

A later member for Appleby was Viscount Howick, subsequently (as Earl Grey) the Prime Minister whose administration passed the Great Reform Act of 1832, but Grey's history as a former MP did not save it from losing both its members under the Act. As the only county town to be disenfranchised, Appleby was one of the more controversial cases in the debates on the Reform Bill, the opposition attempting unsuccessfully to amend the bill and save it at least one MP. It was granted a new charter in 1885.[15]

The town remained a municipal borough until such status was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972. It was superseded by Eden district, based in Penrith. Despite its status, it was smaller in size and population than most urban districts, although still with a larger population than some early Westmorland urban districts such as Grasmere and Shap.

Appleby was the county town of Westmorland. The Assize Courts met there, although the former county council sat in Kendal.

Present day

Appleby today is in the parliamentary constituency of Penrith and the Border. Neil Hudson was elected its Conservative Member of Parliament at the 2019 General Election, replacing Rory Stewart. While the UK remained in the European Union, Appleby was in the North West England European Parliamentary Constituency.

For Local Government purposes it bridges both the Appleby and Bongate wards of Eden District Council and the Appleby Ward of Cumbria County Council. Its own parish council is known as Appleby-in-Westmorland Town Council.[16]


Appleby railway station on the Settle-Carlisle Line was opened by the Midland Railway in 1876. Appleby East station, built by the North Eastern Railway was nearby. The former remains, but the latter was closed in 1962, although it retains the potential for connection to the Eden Valley Railway.

Notable people

A chronological list of notables from Appleby with a Wikipedia page:

See also


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011" (PDF). Eden District Council. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  2. ^ Kelner, Simon (23 April 2013). "Eric Pickles's championing of traditional English counties is something we can all get behind". The Independent.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Parish Church of St Lawrence, Appleby-in-Westmorland (1312067)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  4. ^ Barter, Elsworth (2018). "The Moot Hall, Appleby-in-Westmorland: An Architectural Investigation and Assessment of Significance. Historic England Research Report 25/2018". Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  5. ^ Arnold, Howard, Tyers, (2018). "Moot Hall, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria: Tree-ring analysis and radiocarbon dating of oak timbers. Historic England Research Report 14/2018". Retrieved 10 May 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Maurice Ashley (1954), Cromwell's Generals, London: Cape, OCLC 798976, OL 6150316M
  7. ^ "Industrialist who first opened Appleby Castle". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. 26 October 2002.
  8. ^ Hurst, John (2000). Come Back to Eden: Lakeland's Northern Neighbour. Sigma Leisure. ISBN 9781850587057.
  9. ^ Holmes, Martin (1974). Appleby Castle. Ferguson Industrial Holdings Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne.
  10. ^ "2,000 job companies prepare to quit Eden". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. 21 January 2006.
  11. ^ Willcock, Richard (14 November 2015). "Episodes from Rushbearing at Musgrave and Warcop".
  12. ^ "Appleby Horse Fair". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  13. ^ de Silva, Carrie (2013). "A Short History of Agricultural Education and Research". Newport, Shropshire, UK: Harper Adams University. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "Appleby and Eden Valley Events: What's on in Appleby-in-Westmorland". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Appleby" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 491.
  16. ^ "Appleby-in-Westmorland Town Council".
  17. ^ "George Washington and Appleby Grammar School". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 May 2020, at 11:24
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