Penrith in 1837
Penrith is an ancient and well-built town, 283 miles from London, situate in a fine fertile vale at the south extremity of Inglewood forest. It has no manufactories of consequence. The church is a neat and elegant structure, on one of its walls is the following inscription: A.D. 1598 ex gravi peste quae regionibus hisce incubuit obierunt apud Penrith 2260, Kendal 2500, Richmond 2200, Carlisle 1196. Posteri, avertite vos et vivite. In the church-yard is an ancient monument, consisting of two pyramidal stones twelve feet high, called the Giants Grave. Here are six dissenting chapels ; a free grammar-school ; several charity schools, and a house of correction. Penrith was several times pillaged and twice burned by the Scots in the turbulent times that preceded the union. On an eminence to the west are the ruins of a castle which was inhabited by Richard III when duke of Gloucester, and was destroyed in the time of the Commonwealth. The Beacon stands on a high mount, about a mile from the town, and commands a view of the country for more than 100 miles in circumference. The parish population in 1831 was 6,059. The market day is Tuesday.
Sir Richard Hutton, judge of the Common Pleas, was a native of Penrith. In its vicinity in this county are the following mansions : Eden-hall, Carlton-hall, Hutton-hall, Skirsgill, Dalemain, and Hallsteads. Greystoke-castle and Dacre-castle are each about six miles distant. The former was the ancient seat of the duke of Norfolk ; the latter is supposed to have been the original mansion of the Dacre family, and is now converted into a farmhouse.