Lamplugh

Is comprised within Allerdale-above-Derwent ward, and petty sessional division; the deanery, poor law union, rural and county court districts of Whitehaven; and constitutes the basis of a division for the election of a member of the county council.

This parish extends about six miles from north to south, and three miles in the opposite direction. It is bounded on the north by Dean, on the west by Arlecdon, on the south by Ennerdale, and on the east by Loweswater. The parish is divided into the four townships of Lamplugh, Murton, Kelton and Winder, whose united area of ratable land is 6,129 acres, which are assessed at 15,873; gross rental, 17,741. The population in 1801 was 535; in 1851, 615, and in 1881, 1,261; and in 1891, 1,200. The L. & N.W. & Furness Joint Railway traverses the parish from north to south and has stations at Wright Green, and Rowrah.

The soil is principally gravel or loam incumbent on limestone, and interspersed in some places with patches of peat earth. Iron ore is found, but it does not exist in any large quantity. A large portion of the parish is of an elevated character, affording from the heights extensive views of the Scotch hills and the Irish sea with the Isle of Man in the distance. Blake Fell and Knock Murton, or Beacon Knock, are lofty eminences in this parish, down whose sides pour numerous mountain streams, the waters of which unite in the lower valleys. An extensive forest once stretched through the district, evidences of which are sometimes unearthed. In 1855, whilst excavating for mining purposes, the workmen discovered a quantity of hazel nuts embedded in the peat earth twelve feet below the surface. Tradition has preserved the memory of an oak, which grew on the southern side of Blake Fell when that declivity was covered with a rich sylvan growth, out of whose gigantic trunk was cut a single plank, four feet broad and several yards long. The owner of Lamplugh had a table constructed out of the plank to grace his banquetting hall; and on the demolition of the ancient residence, for materials for the erection of the modern house and farm buildings, the table was cut in two, and the half of it now stretches across the roomy kitchen of the farmstead, "a noble though much dimished [sic] specimen of the growth of the oak in the days when

'A squirrel could hop from tree to tree
From Lamplugh Fells to Moresby.'"

The Roman road from Egremont to Cockermouth passed through the parish, and remains of it may still be seen in several places. On an eminence in the Stockhow Hall estate, the ancient Britons formed one of those inclosures known as Druidical circles. But little now remains of this British camp or temple, the rest having been blasted and carried away to build fences. Six stones only of the circle are left standing; the four largest are nearly four feet in height, and are supported in their erect position by other large stones placed around their bases underground. The stones are of the kind called, provincially, smooth blue cobble, and would appear to have been transported from a distance, as the neighbouring rock is limestone. When the circle was complete it probably measured about 100 paces in diameter. The remains are named here, as similar ones are called elsewhere, Standing Stones; but for what purposes such inclosures were applied has not been satisfactorily ascertained. Mr. John Denton supposes that "the place was originally named Glan-Flough, or Glan Fillough, of the Irish inhabitants before the Conquest, which word signifies Wet Dale - vallis humida; and thereof is formed the present word, Lamplugh, or Lanflogh." The same writer also says:- "Lamplugh in the Fells is that manor-house and seignory in the barony of Egremont which gave name to the ancient family of Lamplughs; a race of valorous gentlemen, successively for their worthyness knyghted in the field, all or most of them." On the estate of Red How, an ancient British battle axe was found, some years ago, in a good state of preservation. It is somewhat like the modern sledge hammer in shape, with a fluted band above and below on the sides and a well-formed shaft hole. It is in the possession of Mr. Joseph Dickinson, the owner of the estate.

LAMPLUGH township occupies the northern portion of the parish, and contains a small hamlet and several scattered houses bearing different names, and situated from eight to nine miles E.N.E. of Whitehaven, between two branches of the river Marron, which rises in this parish. Its population and acreage are included in the parish returns.

The Manor of Lamplugh belonged at a very early period to William de Lancaster, baron of Kendal, who gave it, with Workington, in exchange for Middleton in Lonsdale, to Gospatric, son of Orme, lord of Seaton, in Derwent Ward. After the death of Gospatric, his son Thomas gave Lamplugh to Robert de Lamplugh and his heir, on condition of their "paying yearly a pair of gilt spurs to the lord of Workington." This Robert died in the reign of Henry II, and is the first of the family recorded in the pedigree, which was certified by John Lamplugh, Esq., in 1665, to which year he traced twenty-four descents. The last direct heir male of this family, the Rev. Thomas Lamplugh, of Lamplugh, died at Copgrove, in Yorkshire, in 1783, and the manor descended to his nephew, John Raper, Esq., the son of his sister Anne. The present lord of the manor of Lamplugh and Murton is W.L. Brooksbank, formerly of Lamplugh Hall, now of Penrith; but the respective landowners, in 1718, purchased their freedom from customary rents, and the right to work the minerals in their own estates.

The Hall is now used as a farmstead. On the entrance gate are the arms of the family of Lamplugh and the date 1595.

Wright Green Railway station is in this township.

W.L. Brooksbanks, Esq., and Joseph Dickinson, Esq., are the principal landowners.

The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient edifice, very inconveniently situated in the north-eastern extremity of the parish. Its appearance is now much modernised by the restoration and enlargement which it underwent in 1870, the funds for such being left by the late patron of the living, J.L.L. Raper, Esq. It consists of a nave, chancel, and vestry; the latter was the mortuary chapel of the Lamplughs, and is probably the oldest portion of the church. The old church, with its roof of thatch, must have presented to the eyes of a stranger in 1768 a very primitive and humble appearance. In that year the Rev. Richard Dickinson, M.A., Prebend of Carlisle, and rector of the parish, effected several improvements, not the least of which was the substitution of slate for thatch. In the chancel is the Lamplugh family vault, surmounted by two elaborately carved marble monuments to the memory of two members of that family. A beautiful three-light stained-glass window, raised by the subscriptions of the inhabitants, was placed in the church in 1882, at a cost of 100. The subject depicted is the Crucifixion of Christ in the centre light, and in the side lights are portrayed the two thieves and the sorrowful group that stood around the cross on that eventful day. An exceptionally fine stained-glass window, by Kemp, has been placed in the church in memory of the late John Dickinson, Esq., of Red How. The living is a rectory, the patronage of which has always been annexed to the manor. It is valued in the King's Book at 10 4s. 7d., but was returned in 1835 at 256. The tithes were commuted in 1839 for a rent-charge of 300 a year. The present net value of the living is 182.

In Lamplugh Hall estate is a mineral spring, the waters of which possess powerful astringent properties. The ancient stone cross which stood near the Roman road, pointing to the passer-by the great moral of man's redemption, was wantonly destroyed some years ago.

Red How, the pleasantly-situated residence of Joseph Dickinson, Esq., J.P., and the only mansion in the parish, is in this township. The Dickinsons have been landowners of the parish for a period extending over 200 years. The former residence, now an old farmhouse, was Streetgate, which appears from a date cut in stone to have been erected in 1673.

The Friendly Society was established in 1788. It is the second oldest in the country.

CHARITIES. - Richard Brisco, of Lamplugh Hall, by deed in 1747, bequeathed a yearly rent-charge of 12, payable out of the Skelsmoor demesne lands, to be divided as follows:- 6 8s. to the schools, 3 12s. to poor widows not receiving parish relief, and 2 for books to the school.

MURTON, or Moortown, is descriptive of the physical features of the township, though much of the moor has now disappeared under the hand of cultivation. Murton was parcel of the manor of Lamplugh, and holden of the barony of Egremont. It gave name to a family who resided here for several generations, and from whom it passed in the reign of Edward II to the Lamplughs, in the descendants of which family it still continues. Besides the lord of the manor, the principal proprietors are - Messrs. D. Rogers, J. Wood, J. Southward, and Joseph Bell. Thomas Lamplugh, about the year 1718, disposed of the customary rents to the landowners, with the right to work the minerals in their respective portions. The township comprises the small hamlets of Smaithwaite, Lund, Whinnah, Beck, and Fell Dyke, and several scattered dwellings, distant about eight miles east by north of Whitehaven. The iron ore mines of Knockmurton and Kelton are partly in this township and partly in Kelton. These mines were opened out in 1869 by W. Baird and Co., Ltd. They employ about 110 hands, and produce 500 tons of ore weekly. A new pit is being sunk to a depth of 100 fathoms at a cost of several thousands of pounds. The pits are situated on Kelton Fell, overlooking the beautiful vale and lake of Ennerdale; and, owing to their height, no pumping apparatus is required, the water being carried off by levels into the valley. For some years the mines were worked at a disadvantage, as the only means of transit for the ore was by carting; but the construction of the Rowrah and Kelton mineral line has given an impetus to the trade, and largely increased the output. At Lane Foot a forge is carried on by Joseph Atkinson, who manufactures spades, shovels, and edge tools. At Beck, a hamlet in this township, a Reading Room and Library was established in 1896. The latter contains about 700 volumes. There are about 30 members, who subscribe 10s. per year each.

KELTON. - This township comprises a number of dispersed houses, and the mining village of Kirkland, which occupies an elevated position overlooking Ennerdale and the lake. Kelton, or Ketel's Town, was at an early period after the Conquest the property of Ketel, grandson of Ivo de Talebois, first baron of Kendal, to whom it was granted by William de Meschines, and holden as a fee of Beckermet. In later times it was held by the families of Leigh, Salkeld, and Patrickson; and from the latter it was purchased by Sir John Lowther, and has descended with the Lowther estates to the Earl of Lonsdale, who is the present lord of the manor. A large portion of the land is freehold, and the owners possess the mineral royalty for their respective properties.

A very neat and beautiful Mission Church was built here in 1886, on a plot of land given by the Rev. J.H. Dixon. The total cost was about 700, of which 50 was given by the Diocesan Society, and the remainder raised by voluntary subscriptions. There is also a Primitive Methodist Chapel in the village. The Board School was erected in 1879, and enlarged in 1899. It has now accommodation for 230 children, average attendance 180. The Reading Room was established in 1885. The Kelton limestone quarries were opened by Charles Cammell & Co. in 1884. They afford employment to about 70 men, and produce from 300 to 400 tons per day. The Stockhow Hall Quarries, belonging to Messrs. Bain & Co., produce about 100 tons of limestone daily. The principal landowners are Lord Lonsdale, the Rev. J.H. Dixon, and the resident yeomen.

WINDER township is the south-west portion of the parish, and comprises the village of Winder Brow, and the hamlet of Rowrah Hall, with several scattered farms. The manorial privileges belong to the Earl of Lonsdale, but the land is owned by several proprietors. The greater part of the township is now held on freehold tenure, and the minerals belong to the respective landowners. The Parochial School is situated in this township; it was erected in 1867, and has accommodation for 110, with an average attendance of 90. The iron ore mines of Winder are worked by the Park Side Mining Co., and produce between 7,000 and 8,000 tons annually. About 50 hands are employed at the pit. There are two limestone quarries in the township, Rowrah Hall quarry and Rowrah Head quarry; the former employs 25 hands and the latter about 40. Rowrah Station is in this township.

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Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901


19 June 2015

Steve Bulman