Bothel And Threapland

Have, according to the Local Government Act of 1894, been constituted a distinct civil parish, but ecclesiastically they remain united with the ancient parish of Torpenhow. Within its limits an area of 3,247 acres is comprised, the ratable value of which is 3,256, and gross rental, 3,601. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture, though the limestone quarries worked by David Burns, give employment to about eight men. The parish lies within Allerdale-below-Derwent ward; the petty sessional division of Derwent; the county court district of Cockermouth and Workington; the county council electoral division of Bridekirk; and the poor law union, and rural district of Cockermouth.

The Manor of Bothel was a demesne of Allerdale, till given by Waltheof to Gamel, son of Brun, in the reign of Henry I. His mansion was at Brunskeugh, beneath the river Eden, near the Wastes, whereupon his son, Radulph, was called Radulphus de Feritate, Ralph of the Wastes. Through failure of male issue the manor was apportioned among three co-heiresses, and conveyed by marriage to the Harrington, Culwen, and Bowet families. The Salkelds, by purchase, became possessed of the Harrington and Culwen portions; and the remaining third is said to have been sold to the tenants. The manorial rights are now claimed by W.H. Charlton, Esq., Hesleyside.

The Manor of Threapland would appear from its name to have been at some early date a "bone of contention," the terra contentionis. It was given by Alan, lord of Allerdale, to Ketel, his steward, and subsequently passed by purchase through various families to the Greggs, of Mirehouse, one co-heiress of whom married the Rev. John Story, vicar of Dalston, and the other, Roger Williamson, Esq. The principal landowners of the parish are John E. Thornburn, Exors. of R.F. Irving, Rev. C.H. Gem (glebe), Countess Ossalinski, Jonathan Harryman, Richard Jackson, Exors. of T.M. Hodgson, John Southward, Exors. of Lady Jane Spedding, Mrs. Lees, Adolphus Falcon, etc.

The village of Bothel is pleasantly situated on the side of an elevation on the Wigton and Cockermouth road, one mile S.W. of Torpenhow. Near the village is an eminence, on which, it is said, a beacon was placed to give warning should any hostile ship approach the coast. On the hills are the remains of a Roman encampment, from which the place is named Camp Hill. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel in the village, rebuilt at a cost of 300 in 1890, on the site of the old one; the Primitive Methodists have also one, erected in 1836. There is a Reading Room and Library in the village containing about 150 volumes.

The inhabitants of the parish of Torpenhow made strenuous efforts at an early date to provide the means whereby the benefits of a good education might be assured to future generations. An entry in the parish book, dated May 12th, 1686, tells us that the parishioners, in that year, raised a subscription for the purpose of converting the school then in existence at Bothel into an endowed school, for the free education of their children. The lord of the manor, Henry Salkeld, Esq., supported the movement by an annual payment of 50s., which was regularly received until the division of the manor by the marriages of the two daughters and heiresses before mentioned. The payment was then apportioned between the two; but Mr. Story ceased in 1786 to pay his share, and after the embarrassment of Mr. Williamson in 1816, the payment of his share also was discontinued. A new class room was built in 1896, at a cost of 180, the whole of which was subscribed in the township. The school is mixed, with an average attendance of 88, under Mr. J. Cleminson.

The village of Threapland is 7 miles N.N.E. of Cockermouth.

Several interesting antiquarian discoveries have been made in the parish, A few years ago, in a limestone quarry, were found twelve human skeletons in a good state of preservation, a silver ring one quarter of an inch thick, and several buttons supposed to be Roman. Cannon balls have also been brought to light.

It is said in "Housman's Notes" that "the old inhabitants assert, with confidence, that the stream which runs through the village ran blood on the day of King Charles's martyrdom;" and there are not wanting, even now, persons, who believe the old tradition as firmly as they believe their Bible.

By an oversight, owing to the recent constitution of the several townships in Torpenhow into civil parishes, the following charities were omitted under Torpenhow:-

CHARITIES. - Thomas Addison, by will, dated 14th December, 1702, devised to trustees certain lands and tenements in Torpenhow, that they should lay out the rent of the said premises, for the first year after his decease, in making a convenient place for setting the bread and loaves, thereby directed to be distributed, as thereafter mentioned; and upon further trust, yearly, for ever after, to divide the rent of the said premises into fifty-two equal parts, to be laid out weekly by the overseers of the poor of the said parish, with the approbation of the vicar or curate for the time being, in such quantities of bread as the said overseers should appoint, to be set in the place thereby ordered to be fitted, every Sunday during Divine service, and to be distributed to so many of the poor people of the said parish as the churchwardens may judge fit, such poor people to be present in the church during the service, unless hindered and kept from church by some lawful impediment. This charity now produces 10 per annum, and bread is distributed every Sunday amongst the poor attending Divine service.

Richard Bouch, by will, dated August 20th, 1713, gave to the poor of Blennerhasset Quarter the rents and profits of a freehold close, called Gill Bushes, to be distributed yearly, on November 2nd, at the parish church of Torpenhow. Gill Bushes was sold some years ago, and with the proceeds a field of about six acres in extent was purchased, and the rent thereof, about 5, is distributed according to the intentions of the testator.

Birbeck's Charity. - The interest of 95 to be distributed in bread every Sunday, after Divine service.


Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman