Ambleside in 1843
Ambleside is in the chapelry of Ambleside, which is partly in Windermere, but chiefly in Grasmere parish, both in Kendal ward, 14 miles north-west of Kendal, and 277 from the General Post-Office, London, by railway to Lancaster and thence by coach through Kendal. Camden notices that there were here the traces of an ancient town, with the remains of a fort evidently Roman ; and that Roman medals and other antiquities had been dug up here : there are now few if any traces of the town and fort.
The chapelry had, in 1831, 194 houses, namely, 180 inhabited, 13 uninhabited, and 1 building, with a population of 213 families, or 1,095 persons, nearly one-half agricultural. The town lies in a beautiful valley near the upper end of Windemere Lake, and on the left or east bank of the little river Rothay, or Raisebeck. The town is laid out in a rambling irregular manner, which however combines with the peculiarities of its situation to impart to it a more picturesque character. No two houses are alike either in form or magnitude, and the flatness of their roofs and the simplicity of their whole structure give to the place somewhat of the appearance of a Swiss village. The streets are not paved.
The chapel is in the highest part of the town, and is a plain but neat, commodious, and substantial building, rebuilt in 1812. Ambleside is a place of considerable resort for visitors to the lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland and and has some good inns. The market, which is chiefly for provisions, is on Wednesday ; and there are two yearly fairs for cattle and general merchandise : the principal one, held in October, is called the tip (i.e. tup) fair.
The population returns for 1831 do not give any account of manufactures here, but the authorities somewhat earlier mention a manufacture of linsey woolseys : probably it had been given up before 1831. The living is a perpetual curacy, of the clear yearly value of £80, in the parish of Grasmere, in the rural deanery of Kendal, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, in the diocese of Chester.
There were in the chapelry in 1833, seven day-schools of all kinds, with from 208 to 213 children, namely, from 35 to 40 boys, 20 girls, and 153 children of sex not stated. The boys were in the free grammar-school, which was endowed. There were two Sunday-schools, with 108 scholars, namely, 40 boys and 68 girls. Of the population, nearly one in five was under instruction in the week, and one in ten on the Sunday.