Catterlen

Formerly a township in Newton. Reigny, has for civil purposes been constituted a distinct parish during recent years, but for all ecclesiastical matters, it remains united with the above parish. It contains about 1,527 acres, of which the gross estimated rental is 1669 16s.; the ratable value of the land, 1,149; and of the buildings, 375. The inhabitants, who number about 104, reside chiefly in Catterlen village. The parish is comprised within Leath ward and petty sessional division; the electoral division of Hesket; and the poor law union and rural and county court districts of Penrith.

The last Saxon owner of Catterlen was Uchtred, of whom little more is known than his name. The manor was given by Henry II. by way of addition, to, Hubert de Vallibus, a fortunate Norman, who had received the barony of Gilsland on the very easy terms of two knight's fees, that is, of supplying the king with two fully armed horsemen for forty days in the year. De Vallibus was afterwards shortened into Vaux, and the name in its abridged form continued to be associated with Catterlen down to the middle of the 17th century, when the property passed to Christopher Richmond on his marriage with Mabel Vaux, daughter and co-heiress of John Vaux. Susan Richmond, who inherited the estate at a later period, died unmarried in 1775, and left Catterlen by will to her niece Isabella, married to Henry Curwen, Esq., of Workington Hall. By this couple the estate was sold to the Duke of Norfolk, from whom the present proprietor, Henry C. Howard, Esq., of Greystoke Castle, inherits the same. Sir Henry Ralph Vane; Bart., and John Lancaster, Catterlen Hall, are also large owners.

The old manorial residence of the De Vaux family is situated on a slight eminence rising from the banks of the Petteril. The Peel or Border tower, was probably erected during the second half of the 15th century. In the hall is a handsome oak ceiling, and an old oak door surmounted by a slab containing the arms of Vaux, and underneath the inscription : "At thys tyme is Rowland Vaux Lorde of thys Playce and builded the ...........  L ............. of God, 1577." Adjoining the hall is the court-house, which is of a later date. Courts are still held here for the manor. There appears to have been an older tower at one time, to which the court-house was joined, but of this nothing now remains except the bottom vault, which is the most ancient portion of all the buildings. It is a long time since Catterlen Hall became the more humble, but not less useful, abode of a farmer.

The following customs are still observed in the manor: a fine is paid on the death of the lord, and also on change of tenant, and boon service is due from each farmer.

The village of Catterlen is about three miles N.W. by W. of Penrith. The school for the whole of the ecclesiastical parish of Newton Reigny is situated here. It is a small stone building, erected in 1835, and attended by about 45 children. The school is entirely supported by voluntary contributions and government grant. It was enlarged in 1883.

The small Primitive Methodist chapel in the village was erected in 1867 at a cost of about 130.

Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901


30 July 2006

Steve Bulman