Orton in 1843
Orton (anciently Scar Overton) is in the East ward, 277 miles from the General Post-office, London, by railway to Lancaster, and then through Kendal, from which town it is distant 14 miles north-north-west. The parish has an area of 24,430 acres. There were in it, in 1831, 309 houses, namely, 295 inhabited, 11 uninhabited, and 3 building, with a population of 311 families, or 1,501 individuals. These returns include a small portion of Shap and Kendal parishes. We have no means of determining what part of the population was in the town or its immediate neighbourhood ; but from two-thirds to three-fourths were agricultural.
The town consists chiefly of one irregular street, neither paved nor lighted. The church, which is on the north side of the town, is an ancient building with a low embattled tower : it contains a monument to Dr. Richard Burn, vicar of the parish, author of the ‘Justice of the Peace' and 'Ecclesiastical Law,' and one of the authors of the 'History of Westmoreland and Cumberland.' A small manufacture of canvas and linen is carried on in the parish ; it employed about ten men in 1831. The market, which is of little importance, is held on Friday ; there is a yearly fair, and a fair or great market is held on Friday, once a fortnight from after Whitsuntide to the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.
There are the remains of a beacon, and of an old fort or encampment, a large tumulus, and some other antiquities in the neighbourhood.
The living of Orton is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £192, with a glebe-house, in the rural deanery of Westmoreland, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Carlisle. There are no episcopal chapels in the parish, but there is a Methodist meeting-house. There were in the parish in 1833, five day-schools, with 230 scholars, namely, 92 boys, 53 girls, and 85 children of sex not stated in the return ; giving about two in thirteen of the population under daily instruction. Three of the schools (one of them a grammar-school with 52 boys and 25 girls) had small endowments. There was one Sunday-school with 75 scholars, namely, 35 boys and 40 girls; giving one in twenty of the population under instruction on Sunday.