Castle Carrock in 1884
Extract From History, Topography And Directory Of East Cumberland, T. Bulmer & Co., Manchester, 1884.
The parish of Castle Carrock is bounded to the south by Leath Ward, to the west by Cumrew and Carlatton, to the north by Brampton and Hayton, and to the east by Northumberland. It contains, according to the Ordnance Survey, 8,030½ statute acres, of which 34½ are public roads and 13½ water. The rateable area is 2,879 acres, which are assessed at £2,143, and it has a population of 297. The parish lies on both sides of the river Gelt and comprehends the northern portion of the lofty range of mountains extending from Cross Fell, near Alston. The arable land is light and full of blue stones; the high ground is rugged and sterile, but the lower moor, being dry and covered with a fine herbage, affords good pasturage. Limestone and freestone are abundant. The commons were enclosed in pursuance of an Act of Parliament obtained in the 41st of George III. Castle Carrock Fell commands fine views of the most fertile portion of Cumberland the Scottish hills, the Irish Sea, Skiddaw, Saddleback, and the Northumbrian mountains. The old division of the parish into the Constablewicks of Town and Outerside Quarter is now almost obsolete.
Castle Carrock is a small straggling village, situated on the west side of Geltsdale, four miles south of Brampton. Near the village are the apparent remains of two ancient fortifications; one, in a wet field, about forty yards east of the church, surrounded by a moat, now filled up, is 100 yards long and 40 broad, and the other, which is about a furlong towards the south, is about three times as large as this, and rises seven or eight yards above the surrounding meadow, but both have been in tillage for a length of time. A small stream runs close by the west side of each and might easily be made to fill the former quite round. Close by is a mineral spring, the water of which is strongly impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen, thus resembling in its qualities the Gilsland Spa.
Geltsdale Forest (extra-parochial) is an extensive tract of mountain, forming the south-east portion of the parish, and is a royal forest, leased by the earl of Carlisle. Part of it abounds in birch and alderwood, and gives rise to the river Gelt, which flows northward. Previous to the dissolution, both this and the adjoining forest of Brierthwaite, belonged to the priory of Hexham, but after the suppression of that house, were granted to the barons of Gilsland.