Is a rather extensive parish, lying along the left bank of the Eden, which river separates it from Kirkoswald; and on the other sides it is bounded by Hesket, Plumpton Wall, Great Salkeld, and Penrith. It is included in the ward and petty sessional division of Leath Ward; electoral division of Kirkoswald; union, rural and county court districts, and deanery of Penrith. The area embraced within the parochial limits is, according to the Ordnance Survey, 8,378 acres, of which 70 are water. The ratable value of land under assessment is 8,424; and gross estimated rental, 9,983. The population in 1881 was 650; and in 1891, 719. A range of moorland and fell extends longitudinally through the parish, the northern extremity of which is covered by a forest known as Baron Wood. Red freestone of excellent quality is abundant, and is extensively quarried on Lazonby Fell and Lowther's Lot. A quarry on Bleesfell supplies barley mill stones. A steam saw and bobbin mill affords employment to a number of the inhabitants, but the greater portion are engaged in the quarries or on the land. To the antiquary the district possesses some features of special interest; these are the great Roman road leading to Carlisle, which passes through the parish, a military way which intersects it at Salkeld Gate, and the remains of the Roman station at Old Penrith, of which more will be said when describing the parish of Plumpton Wall.

The Manor belonged at an early period to the Stutevilles, from whom it passed by successive heiresses to the Morvilles, Multons, and Dacres. On the attainder of Leonard Dacre, in the reign of Elizabeth, the Crown seized this manor, but it was recovered in 1657, by Francis, Lord Dacre, of the south, and was sold in 1716, by the co-heiresses of Thomas Lennard, Earl of Sussex, to Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bart., ancestor of its present lord, Sir Richard George Musgrave, Bart., of Edenhall. There is also within Lazonby township, a small mesne manor, belonging to the Fetherstonhaughs of the College, Penrith. The parish being within the ancient limits of Inglewood Forest, the Duke of Devonshire claims the manorial rights of a large portion as parcel of the forest.

The principal landowners are Sir Richard G. Musgrave, the Earl of Lonsdale, General Peter Maclean; U. M. Richardson, Low Plains; Robert Murray, Low Plains; William Graves, J.H. Simpson, Esq.; Thomas Hall, Bracken Bank; Dr. Jameson, Leamington Spa; E. Eckroyd, Esq., Armathwaite; Exors. of the late Henry Williams, Esq.; Miss Jane Bell, Lazonby; and the Midland Railway Co. The commons were enclosed in 1803, in which year an Act was obtained for the enclosure of Inglewood Forest.

The village of Lazonby is on the west side of the vale of the Eden, one mile S.W. of Kirkoswald, and seven miles N. by E. of Penrith. The houses are generally well-built structures of the red freestone of the locality.

The Church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was given at an early period by Sir Hugh Morville to Lanercost Priory. In 1272, the tithes of the parish were granted to that convent, reserving, however, a sufficient endowment for the maintenance of the vicar, and the right of presentation to the bishop of the diocese. In 1484, a dispute arose between the prior and John Boon, the vicar, as to their respective rights to certain tithes not specifically named in the original grant. The matter was referred to Bishop Bell, who awarded to the vicar the tithes of wool and lamb, and other small dues. After the dissolution of the Lanercost priory, the church of Lazonby was given by Edward VI to Sir Thomas Dacre, from whose descendants it was purchased by Dr. John Barwick, dean of St. Paul's, who bequeathed it to the chapel and poor of Witherslack, in Westmorland, reserving an annual payment of 40s. to the vicar of Lazonby. In 1291 this living was valued at 6 13s. 4d., and in the King's Book it is entered at 13 5s. 2d.; it is now worth 410. The tithes have been commuted for a money payment amounting to 249 per annum; and those of Plumpton Wall for 207, payable also to the vicar of Lazonby. The church occupies an elevated situation near the village. The old building, which had undergone many restorations, was taken down, and the present edifice erected at the expense of the late Colonel and Mrs. Maclean. The consecration service took place in 1863. The church consists of a chancel, nave, and north aisle, and has accommodation for 250 people. A handsome reredos has been erected in memory of the founders by their nephew, J.D. Maclean, Esq., of Lazonby Hall. In the churchyard is the shaft of an ancient cross, said to be nearly 800 years old; also a magnificent fir tree of great antiquity. The rectory remains, according to the terms of its ancient appropriation, in the gift of the Bishop of Carlisle, and is now held by the Rev. Canon Wilson, M.A., Cantab.

Outside the churchyard are still to be seen the remains of the old vicarage stocks.

The School and Schoolhouse, handsome buildings at the entrance of the village, were erected and partly endowed by the late Colonel and Mrs. Maclean, in 1863. There is accommodation for 146, and an average attendance of 108.

The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each chapels here, the former erected in 1850, and the latter in 1898 upon the site of the old building, which was raised in 1847. A Reading Room and Library were established in the village in 1858, and the present suitable premises erected in 1866, at a cost of about 500.

There is also an Auction Mart, conducted by a Limited Liability Company, consisting of the yeomen and farmers of the district. The mart is open every alternate Monday for the sale of farm stock and produce.

Lazonby Hall, the residence of General Peter Maclean, is situated opposite to Kirkoswald, overlooking the vale of the Eden. The mansion was completed in 1848 by the late Col. Maclean.

The new Sewerage Scheme was carried out in 1894, at a cost of 600; also a Water Scheme in 1890, at an outlay of 3,072.

Many urns, containing bones and ashes, have been found on the common, a little below the surface; and there were, when Hutchinson wrote his History of Cumberland, several Cairns, but these have disappeared. In Baron Wood there is a large rock, in which is a cave, apparently artificial, known as the Giant's Chamber. It was probably used as a place of refuge during the prevalence of the border raids.


Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

Parish Index

Photos and Maps




19 February 2006

Steve Bulman