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Appleby-in-Westmorland is located in Cumbria
 Appleby-in-Westmorland shown within Cumbria
Population 3,048 (2011)
OS grid reference NY6820
Civil parish Appleby-in-Westmorland
District Eden
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CA16
Dialling code 017683
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Penrith and The Border
List of places

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Appleby-in-Westmorland is a town and civil parish in Cumbria, in North West England. It is situated within a loop of the River Eden and has a population of approximately 2,500, measured at the 2011 census to be 3,048. [1] It is in the historic county of Westmorland, of which it was the county town. The town's name was simply Appleby, until the local government changes of 1974. When a successor parish was formed for the former borough of Appleby, the council effected a change in the town's name, to preserve the historic county's name.[2]


St Lawrence's Church is the parish church. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.[3] Appleby Castle was founded by Ranulf le Meschin at the beginning of the 12th century. It was placed under siege during the Second English Civil War, during which Thomas Harrison was wounded.[4]


Gypsy horses in the River Eden

Appleby is overlooked by the (privately owned) Appleby Castle, a predominantly Norman structure, which provided the 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.[citation needed]

The annual Appleby Horse Fair, held regularly in early June brings Gypsies and Irish Travellers from all over Britain to the town. The earliest record of the fair is in the 12th century, with a charter from Henry II, but it is believed to have a longer tradition.[citation needed]


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

Local government

Appleby was a parliamentary borough, electing two Members of Parliament, from medieval times; by the 18th century it had become a pocket borough, the nomination of its MPs effectively being in the gift of the Lowther family. Its representatives 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 when he was instead elected for 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 for the town did not save it from losing both its members under the Act. As the only county town to be disfranchised, Appleby was one of the more controversial cases in the debates on the reform bill, the opposition making unsuccessful attempts to amend the bill so as to save at least one of its MPs. In 1885,[5] the town was granted a new charter.

The town remained a municipal borough until this status was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972 and superseded by Eden district, based in Penrith. Although having the status of a municipal borough, it was a lot smaller in size and population than most urban districts in the country. It had, however, a larger population than some early Westmorland urban districts including Grasmere and Shap.

Although Appleby was the county town of Westmorland, the former county council sat in Kendal, even though the Assize Courts were in Appleby.

Appleby dialect

The Appleby dialect is a variant of the Cumbrian dialect spoken around the Penrith and Eden district area.

See also


  1. "Town population 2011". Retrieved 19 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Historic England. "Parish Church of St Lawrence, Appleby-in-Westmorland (1312067)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Maurice Ashley (1954), Cromwell's Generals, London: Cape, OCLC 798976<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Appleby" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 491.

External links