Culgaith

Is the name of a parish in Leath ward and petty sessional division; the deanery of Penrith, E.; the county council electoral division of Edenhall; and the poor law union, rural and county court districts of Penrith. It comprises an area of 2,837 acres, of which the gross estimated rental is 6,501, the ratable value of the land 2,344, and of the buildings 2,380, and has a population of 334.

The manor of Culgaith was a dependant of the barony given by Henry I. to Adam Fitz Swein, whose two daughters carried it in marriage to the families of Crevaguer and Montebegon. Alexander Crevaguer transferred his moiety of the mill of Culgaith with the "miller and his family" to the monks of Wetheral. These moieties having passed through various families, came to Lady Knevett, heir-general to the Moresbys and the Pickerings. The manorial rights were sold by her ladyship to Henry Crackanthorpe, Esq., of Newbiggin, and the lands to four feoffees (one estate only excepted, which is held of the late Earl of Thanets' manor, of Milburne Grange), reserving only to herself a free rent of 28 4s. 1d., which she afterwards sold to the Dalstons, of Acornbank. From them it was purchased by Matthew Atkinson, Esq., of Temple Sowerby, who sold it to W. Parker, Esq., of Skirwith Abbey.

The principal landowners are E.W. Parker, Esq.; M. Crackanthorpe, Esq., K.C., Newbiggin Hall, Westmorland; H. Boazman, Esq., Acorn Bank; General MacLean, Lazonby Hall; the Exors. of Mrs. Stevenson; Mrs. R. Sewell; the Exors. of W. Atkinson; Miss M.A. Jackson; and A.M. Gibson, Esq., Ravenstonedale. In this parish is Crowdundle quarry, owned by H.R. Simpson, of Lazonby. The red freestone found here is similar to that obtained at St. Bees.

Mill Rigg, now a farmhouse, is supposed to have been the occasional residence of the Dalstons whilst they held possession of the manor. A curious sun-dial is preserved here. It was found some years ago at Temple Sowerby; and on the square stone block on which the dial is fixed, is inscribed the following dialogue:- Dial loquitur: " Stay, Passenger, tell me my name and thy nature." Passenger: "Thy name is Dial; I, a mortal creature." Dial "Since my name and thy nature so agree, think of thyself when thou look'st upon me."

Culgaith is a long straggling village, pleasantly situated on an eminence above the river Eden, about seven miles distant from Kirkland.

The Church, dedicated to All Saints, was founded at an early period, by a lord of the manor, as a chapel-of-ease to Kirkland. The old building having become very dilapidated, was taken down in 1756, and the present one erected on the site. It is a plain but neat cruciform structure; the mantle of ivy which covers the west end giving it a venerable appearance. Two windows were inserted in 1896, in memory of the Rev. J.W. Atkinson, vicar for forty years. In 1456, the Pope issued a commission of inquiry respecting the non-celebration of mass in this chapel during the week. The living was returned to the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, in 1739, as worth 6, and the curates had at this time to eke out their living by teaching a school. It is now worth 200 a year, and is in the gift of the vicar of Kirkland. In 1879 this benefice was constituted a distinct ecclesiastical district, and authority granted for the solemnisation of marriages, &c., under an Order in Council, 28th October, 1879. The present incumbent is the Rev. J. Talbot Edwards, M.A. The church underwent some slight restoration in 1869, when a porch, vestry, and east window were added, at a cost of 250.

The vicarage house is a very neat structure, erected by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in 1869, at a cost of 1,400.

A Free School was founded in 1775, by the landowners of the two townships of Culgaith and Blencarn, and endowed with 100 acres of land on Culgaith Moor, which now let for 85 a year. This school was superseded by a neat stone structure, erected in 1876, at a cost of 650, which was raised by a voluntary rate. The endowment is now divided in equal portions between this and the school at Blencarn. It is attended by about 70 children, and is under the care of Mr. John Knox, who has held the position with credit for a number of years.

The Midland Railway passes through the township, and is carried under a hill called the Pea, by a tunnel 660 yards in length.

A Reading Room was erected by the parishioners in 1897, in memory of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

CHARITY. - In 1787 Daniel Dover left the sum of 60 for the benefit of such poor parishioners as shall frequent divine service, the interest to be distributed weekly for ever.

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Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901


19 June 2015

Steve Bulman