The twelfth century was a period of both political and ecclesiastical settlement in the north-west of England, when the conquerors were seeking to establish Anglo-Norman institutions in an area as much Celtic and Norse as Anglo-Saxon. The church was re-vitalised, monasticism re-established, and parish churches were built and re-built to an extent previously unknown. The response of Cumbrian’ society was favourable, but a ‘national’ flavour of the diverse elements making up that society was retained. When in 1092 William Rufus marched into the north-west, seized Carlisle, and drove out the ‘ruler’, Dolfin son of earl Gospatric of Dunbar, he was enacting the final phase of the Norman conquest of England. The border between England and Scotland was established, and this only deviated when David I brought the district back under Scottish control during the reign of Stephen. At one time part of the kingdom of Northumbria and then of the kingdom of Strathclyde, by the eleventh century the north-west had become a political no-man’s-land, the kings of England and Scotland each regarding it as belonging to his respective realm. Church life had been greatly eroded, and monastic communities, as in the rest of northern England, had totally disappeared, due as much to the unstable political situation over the previous two centuries as to the lack of any strong spiritual control. The region itself was in a depressed condition, depopulated and devastated by the invasions of king Edmund in 945, Ethelred in 1000, and most recently by early Gospatric in 1070.