This parish lies mostly on the north bank of the river Eden, and stretches from east to west about seven miles, and from north to south from one to two miles. It consists of nine townships, which are here enumerated: Cargo, Etterby, Houghton, Linstock, Rickerby, Stainton, Stanwix, Tarraby, and Brunstock. Stanwix gives a name to a division for the election of a member of the county council, and is comprised within Cumberland ward, and the petty sessional division of that name; union, rural and county court districts of Carlisle; and deanery of Carlisle South. It is bounded on the north by Westlinton and Scaleby, on the south by the Eden, on the east by Crosby, and on the west by Rockcliffe. The area of the whole parish is 6,646 acres, and the ratable value £22,686. The quality of the soil is various, and has been much improved in recent years by a careful system of tillage and drainage. Much of the land rests upon a clay subsoil, and is well adapted for the growth of wheat and other grains. A considerable portion, especially near the river, is a dry rich loam; in other parts of the parish, the soil resting on a poor sandy or gravelly moorland, is not particularly fertile. A good deal is in permanent pasture. The north side of the parish is high, yet tolerably level, and the lands on the south descend with a varied and beautiful inclination to the Eden, producing patches of highly interesting scenery. The population in 1891 was 3,181.

The great Roman Wall and vallum passed through the parish. Entering it at Walby, in the parish of Croshy-on-Eden, its route may be traced in a southwesterly direction through the townships of Linstock, Tarraby, and Stanwix, where it crosses the Eden. Very little of the Wall now remains above ground within the parish, but a slightly elevated ridge indicates the direction it took, whilst the fosse is easily distinguished by the depression in the land. "When Camden wrote, the remains of the Wall were still visible in the channel where it crossed the river, but nothing is now to be seen to indicate the spot or the manner in which it was carried over the river. Portions of the Wall are often ploughed up by the farmer; and while excavating for the sewerage the foundations were cut through, showing that the Wall was 13 feet broad at the base. Stanwix is supposed to have been the site of a Roman station, and the numerous inscribed stones and other articles of Roman work that have been found here, seem to confirm the supposition. It is thought to have been the Congavata of the Notitia, at which the Cohors Secunda Legorum was stationed, and was, probably, placed at this spot to guard the breach in the Wall caused by the river. Several monumental and other stones have been found, among which is a fine figure of victory. In a wall at Drawdykes is a sepulchral slab bearing the following inscription:—

DIS MANIBV To the Divines Manes
S MARCI TROJANI of Marcus Trojan
AVGVSTINII TVM FA Augustinius; this tomb
CIENDVM CVRAVI was erected by
CONJVX KARIS SIMA his beloved wife.

STANWIX township comprises an area of 425 acres which are assessed to the poor at £8,791. Its name is highly suggestive; whilst the surrounding villages were composed of clay dabins, a mode of building as we have already seen but recently discontinued, there was here on the banks of the Eden a town of small dwellings, Stan wic, A. S. stone town, and therefore one of considerable consequence at an early period.

"Stanwix is held as parcel of the manor of the socage of the castle of Carlisle, the lands being all freehold.'

The most extensive landowners are the Duke of Devonshire and Miles MacInnes, Esq.

The village which now forms a suburb of Carlisle, is delightfully situated on the north bank of the Eden, which is here crossed by a fine stone bridge, connecting Stanwix with the city. It occupies a rather elevated position, commanding excellent views of Carlisle and the surrounding country. There are many handsome terraces, and numerous detached and semi-detached villas, which are favourite residences of the merchants, professional men, and retired tradespeople of Carlisle.

The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a handsome edifice, cruciform in shape, and in the Early English style of architecture. It was erected in 1841, and consists of nave, aisles, transepts, and fine tower, surmounted by pinnacles. The entire cost of erection, including £300 for an organ, was £3,030, which was all raised by subscription except £200, given by the Incorporated Society of London. On the 21st December, 1843, the church was partially burnt, in consequence of the over-heating of the stoves or flues, and the pews, windows, and organ were totally destroyed. It was insured for £600, which, with £100 collected by subscription, was expended on its renovation. A new organ, by the eminent maker Hill, of London, was purchased at a cost of £500, and was considered at that time one of the finest in the north of England. The south. transept is lighted by a beautiful stained-glass window, containing figures of Our Saviour, the Archangel Michael, and St. John the Evangelist. The clock in the tower, whose dials may be read from two points of the compass, was presented by Richard Ferguson, Esq., late of Harker Lodge. The building was restored and the vestry enlarged in 1894, at a cost of £1,900. This church is a very ancient foundation, but the period of its original erection is lost in the obscurity of antiquity. It was in existence as early as the reign of Henry I, and was given by Walter, the King's chaplain, to the prior and convent of Carlisle. Speaking of the old edifice which was taken down in 1841, Hutchinson, writing in 1794, says, "The church is gloomy, being only part of the original structure, as appears by the arches of the north aisle, built up in the outward wall. This fabric has been built of the materials of the Roman vallum, and stands upon the station." The benefice is a vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £9, but now worth £280 per annum, arising from a rent charge of £200 in lieu of tithes, £42 from the bishop and his chapter, £32 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Easter dues, etc. The living was rectorial until appropriated to the Augustinian priory of Carlisle, by which that convent became possessed of the tithes, and the ministerial duties of Stanwix were performed by their nominee at a fixed stipend. Since the suppression of monastic institutions the corn tithes have been shared by the dean and chapter and the bishop, the latter of whom is patron of the living, which is now held by the Rev. John Ravenshaw Wood, M.A., Oxon.

Interments in the churchyard became so numerous that the place was closed for further burials in 1885. Of the tombstones, there is one which excites a melancholy interest: it records the deaths, within the space of five weeks, of five children of the Rev. Dr. Tait, Dean of Carlisle, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Cemetery belonging to the parish of Stanwix is situated in the village of Kingstown, in the adjoining parish of Kingmoor. It was opened in 1887, and consists of six acres, two of which are consecrated. The Mortuary Chapel, which stands in the grounds, serves for all denominations.

The Board Schools, in Mulcaster Crescent, were built in 1886, and enlarged in 1898, They are attended by about 400 children. The old building, erected in 1843, has been converted into cottages.

The Home for Friendless Girls, a most praiseworthy institution, is located here. Its object is to provide a home for friendless girls, where they may be trained for domestic service. It is dependent for its support upon public charity.

The Knowefield Nurseries, the property of Messrs. Little and Ballantyne, are situated at Stanwix; they are upwards of 150 acres in extent, and amongst the largest in Britain, employing at some seasons of the year about 200 hands. They are famed for roses, of which 60,000 to 70,000 may be seen in flower at one time, forest trees, fruit trees, shrubs, rhododendrons, greenhouse and stove plants, and alpine and herbaceous plants, and are well worth a visit, which will be both instructive and interesting; it is one of the sights of Carlisle. These nurseries were selected by the English Government to reafforest the Isle of Man, where many millions of young trees were planted. The seed department is conducted in one of the most handsome and substantial buildings in Carlisle, adjoining the railway station, and contains an area of 30,000 superficial feet of floor-room, with the most complete set of steam machinery for cleaning and dressing seeds - the only machinery of its kind in the northern counties. The firm of Messrs. Little and Ballantyne has been established nearly a century, and has for many years been one of the leading concerns in the trade.

CHARITIES. - In 1726, Dr. Benson bequeathed £50 to the poor of this parish; and in 1805, Monkhouse Graham directed that the interest of £100 should be laid out, on the 24th December, in the purchase of bread, to be distributed among the sober, honest, and industrious poor residing within the parish. Miss Patrickson, who died in 1854, at Houghton-town-head, bequeathed £200 to the vicar and churchwardens, one half the interest thereof to be distributed among the poor, and the other half to be applied for the benefit of the school at Stanwix. In 1855, William Sowerby left the sum of £400, the interest of which was to be applied in equal portions to the benefit of the poor and the school. In 1859, Elizabeth Sowerby made a gift of £120 to the Rev. Thomas Wilkinson, who was then vicar of the parish, the interest of which was to be divided amongst the deserving poor.

CARGO, or more correctly CARGHOW, derives its name from Carig Howe, the rocky eminence; and here we have another example of the wisdom of our forefathers in bestowing upon places, names that were descriptive of some physical or distinguishing feature. The township covers an area of 1,196 acres, which are assessed at £2,644.

The first recorded owner of this manor is John de Lacy, constable of Chester, who held it directly of the crown by cornage. This John granted Cargo and Cringle-Dyke to William de Vescy, lord of Alnwick, in Northumberland, to be held of the donor and his heirs for a mewed hawk yearly, in lieu of services, William de Vescy exchanged it with Sir Ewan Carlisle for some land in Yorkshire, reserving, however, to himself and his heirs, the same services.

In the second year of Edward I (1274), we find the manor in the possession of Robert de Ross, lord of Wark, in Northumberland, who rendered a hawk or mark in lieu of all services. It was held by this family for many generations, until 1338, when Elizabeth Boss inherited the estate in default of male issue, and transferred it to the Parrs, of Kendal, with, whom it remained until dame Ellen, marchioness of Northampton, exchanged it with Queen Elizabeth for other lands. In the following reign it was granted by the Crown to the Whitmores, from whom it was purchased by the Dacres. In 1793, the manor was sold by Mr. Dacre to Joseph Lamb Esq., of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is now held by the Earl of Lonsdale.

The principal landowners are the Trustees of the late T. James; Thomas Robinson, Cargo ; Arthur Mounsey-Heysham, Castle Street, Carlisle; Miss Hall, St. John's-in-the-Vale, Keswick; the Misses Twentyman; F.W. Chance, Morton, Carlisle; R.C.W. Lowry, Joseph Lowry, and the Caledonian Railway Company.

For ecclesiastical purposes the township of Cargo has been detached from Stanwix, and added to Rockcliffe. The village is about three miles N.N.W. of Carlisle. A school was erected here in 1854, and transferred to the School Board in 1882. It was rebuilt on a larger scale in 1897 at a cost of about £900, and is now attended by about 70 children. Attached is the master's house.

ETTERBY township comprises an area of 297 acres, rated at £4,989. The name appears to have been anciently written Arthuriburgum, or Arthur's town, which has led to the belief that Etterby was once a place of importance. A tradition, probably invented to account for the name, states that King Arthur, the hero of many a battle and the subject of many a ditty, abode here about the year 550, when he was in the north pursuing his victories over the Danes. But no remains of antiquity have been found to give even the appearance of probability to the tradition. Etterby is parcel of the manor of Westlinton and barony of Burgh, under the Earl of Lonsdale. The principal landowners of the township are the Trustees of the late John Wright, A.G. Saul, Esq., and the Caledonian Railway Company. The village is one mile N.N.W. of Carlisle; another bearing the name of Edentown is chiefly inhabited by Carlisle tradespeople.

At St. Ann's Hill, upon a commanding site, stands the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a large and handsome pile of buildings of red brick. The house was built in 1891, at a cost of £25,000, and opened on the 1st of March, 1892. The grounds cover about eleven acres, and are tastefully laid out in gardens, &c. The community consists at the present time of 22 sisters, whose object it is to look after the spiritual and temporal well-being of the young ladies placed under their charge for their education. It is said there are more wild flowers to be met with in the district of St. Ann's Hill than in any other part of England.

LINSTOCK. - This township comprises about 1,133 acres, which are assessed for county and other rates at £1,552. Linstock is now ecclesiastically under Crosby, but for all civil and parochial business it is still included in Stanwix.

The Manor, which was formerly styled the Barony of Linstock or Crosby, includes, besides the parishes just mentioned, Walby, Rickerby and Newby. It was granted by Henry I to Walter, his chaplain, to be held of the Crown by cornage silver paid yearly. Walter afterwards quitted the Royal court for the cloister, and became a canon regular in the priory of Carlisle, to which convent he transferred his manor, and was appointed its second prior. Carlisle in 1133 was honoured with separate episcopal jurisdiction, and Athelwald, prior of the newly founded convent, was appointed the first bishop, retaining at the same time the office of prior. This circumstance was afterwards the cause of much confusion; whilst the same individual held the double appointment of bishop and prior, the possessions of both were regarded as common property; but subsequently, when the see was filled by ecclesiastics having no connection with the priory, disputes and contentions arose as to their respective rights to certain lands. The matter was referred to the arbitrament of Gualo, the papal legate, by whom Linstock, among other manors, was appropriated to the see, and the bishops of Carlisle have continued ever since to be lords of the manor. For a long time Linstock Castle was the only episcopal residence, and many stirring scenes it must have witnessed in those rough old days, when the bishop could wield the sword as effectively as his crazier. Within its walls, about the year 1293, the famous Bishop Hilton is said to have entertained, for a considerable time, Johannes Romanus, Archbishop of York, with his train of followers, numbering above 300 persons. In. 1307, Edward, with his queen, spent six days here whilst on his way to Scotland.

The castle occupies a slight eminence at the end of the village, and within a short distance of the Eden. With the exception of its height and its ponderous walls, there is little to remind us of its ancient stateliness. A so-called modern improvement, effected upwards of a century ago, has utterly destroyed its castellated appearance and architectural beauty. The castle has been curtailed of its fair proportions, and all that now remains is a square, tower-like, massive structure, which was probably the donjon or keep. An examination of the walls will enable us to form an idea of the strength of these old feudal piles; here they are eight or nine feet thick, a breadth sufficient to admit of passages and staircases within the wall. Two or three Gothic doors remain, but the loop-holes, by which the interior was dimly lighted, have been walled up, and modern windows inserted. The castle is now the property of Miles MacInnes, Esq., and the abode of a farmer.

The principal landowners of the township are S.G. Saul, Esq., John Bainbridge, John Nixon, John Boustead, W.B. Oram, W.M. Backhouse, and Miles MacInnes, Esq. The Friends' Meeting House in the village is used by several denominations for religious services.

RICKERBY is a small township comprising 560 statute acres, belonging to Miles MacInnes, Esq., who is the sole landowner. Its ratable value is £932.

The manor of Rickerby, or Richardby, was formerly a dependent on the barony of Linstock or Crosby, but the land is now all enfranchised. It was part of the large possessions of the Tilliols, from whom it passed successively to the Pickerings, Westons, Musgraves, Studholmes, Gilpins, Richrdsons, and Grahams.

Rickerby House, the residence of Miles MacInnes, Esq., J.P., is a beautiful mansion occupying a delightful situation, about a mile east of Carlisle. The present proprietor succeeded to the estate of the late G. Head Head, Esq., in 1876. The village of Rickerby is pleasantly located about one and a half miles E. by N. of Carlisle.

STAINTON is another small township in this parish. Its superficial extent is about 580 acres, which are assessed for county and other rates at £1,060.

Stainton is a mesne manor within the barony of Burgh, and was formerly parcel of the manor of Westlinton. It belonged to the Musgraves of Crookdake, in this county, from whom it was transferred by sale, in 1686, to Sir John Lowther, the greater part of it having been previously enfranchised. It is now held by the Earl of Lonsdale, but the principal landowners are Thomas James Scaleby; R.A. Allison, Esq., M.P., Scaleby Hall; the Exors. of T.K. Atkinson; Mrs. Borthwick, Burgh-by-Sands; and Miss Faulder, Thursby. The tithes of the township were commuted in 1839 for £82 12s. 1d.

The village is situated about two miles W. N. W. of Carlisle.

TARRABY is a small hamlet and township 1½ miles N.E. of Carlisle, containing 484 acres, of the ratable value of £824.

The manor of Tarraby was given in exchange by John Aglionby to Sir John Lowther, who again exchanged it with the Dalstons for an estate in Westmorland. Sir William Dalston, about the year 1764, sold it to the tenants. The chief landowners are the Exors. of the late R.S. Ferguson, Esq., G.H.H. Oliphant-Ferguson, Esq., T. Graham, and George Robinson. Drawdykes Castle, the ancient seat of the Aglionby family, is in this township. Though bearing the name, there is little about it to remind the spectator of those fortified structures with which the mind is accustomed to associate the appellation of castle. The old castle was taken down about the middle of the eighteenth century, and rebuilt in its present form by John Aglionby, Esq., at that time Recorder of Carlisle. This castle and domain were amongst the earliest possessions of the family in this county, which could boast of an almost unprecedented length of inheritance. Upon the demise of Christopher Aglionby, Esq., the last heir male in 1789, the estate passed under a decree of chancery to John Orfeur Yates, Esq., of Skirwith Abbey, who married Mary, the youngest daughter of the co-heiress. From the Norman Conquest until the demise of the said Christopher, the estate had never been held by any other family. The castle occupies a position on the site of or near the Wall of Hadrian, and many inscribed stones have been found here, amongst others, one bearing the following inscription: - "COH IIII PRO POS IVL VITALES," which was thus read by Horsley, Cohortis quartæ Pretorranæ posuit centuria Julii Vitalis. Three large stone busts on the parapet attract the attention of the curious visitor. The popular belief is that they were taken from the Roman Wall, but some aver that the trio represent "Major Aglionby, his Attorney, and His Satanic Majesty." Into the garden wall is built a sepulchral slab, bearing a Roman inscription, as given on a former page. Drawdykes Castle is now the property of Colonel Arthur Aglionby, of Staffield Hall, Kirkoswald, and is occupied by a farmer. The estate is free of toll of the city of Carlisle, a privilege which has been frequently resisted by the Mayor and Corporation, but was confirmed to the tenants at the Assizes in 1775.

BRUNSTOCK township, formerly in Crosby-on-Eden, was, according to the Divided Parishes Act, transferred in 1887 to Stanwix. It is a sparsely inhabited township, of which the ratable value is £658. The principal landowners are S.G. Saul, Esq., and Mrs. Fell, The Knells, Houghton.

The village of the same name is situated about three miles N.N.E, of Carlisle. Here is Brunstock House, the seat of Silas George Saul, Esq., a fine mansion in the Gothic style of architecture, surrounded by beautifully laid-out grounds.


This district comprises the township of Houghton, and the civil parish of Kingmoor, and was constituted a separate and distinct parish for all ecclesiastical purposes, by an order in Council dated 22nd November, 1841. The district assigned to the church covers about 2,685 statute acres, and contains a population of 820.

The area of the township of Houghton is computed at 1,478 acres, which are assessed at £1,236. Houghton, united with Tarraby, formed a manor, the descent of which has already been given. (See Tarraby.)

The principal landowners are: - The Exors. of the late R.S. Ferguson, Esq., Mrs, Elizabeth Fell, Mrs. Forster, Rev. W.G.C. Hodgson, E.W. Sutton, R. Patrickson, G.H.H. Oliphant-Ferguson, and Joseph Jefferson.

Houghton, a neat village, containing about 300 inhabitants, is between two and three miles N. by E. of Carlisle. The church, erected by subscription in 1840, is built of white freestone, from the Shalk quarries, near Dalston. It consists of nave, chancel, and tower; and has sitting accommodation for 286. Although the building has no pretensions to architectural beauty, it is prettily situated, and with its ivy-clad tower presents a picturesque appearance. Both the exterior and interior have recently undergone thorough renovation under the charge of Mr. C.J. Ferguson, F.S.A. The straight backed pews, high pulpit and reading desk have disappeared, and in their places are comfortable seats of pine, stained green, a beautifully carved oak pulpit and a lecturn of similar design. The roof has been panelled with pitch-pine, and new windows, designed by Messrs. Cleator & Sons, London, inserted; the east window being glazed with deep green glass, and the other windows with plain leaded glass with a Moorish pattern of squares and circles interlaced. The font is a handsome one of carved Caen stone, with red marble pillars and is the gift of Mrs. Forster, of Houghton Hall, in memory of her husband. The chancel floor has been relaid in black and white marble, and the nave in red cement; and the walls of the aisles handsomely decorated in colour. An exceedingly fine west doorway with lead glass lights has been added, the gift of Mr. H. Brooks-Broadhurst, of Houghton House, The church is now one of the best furnished in the neighbourhood. The tithes were commuted in 1842 for £138 8s., viz., the corn tithe for £128 7s. 6d., and the vicar's tithe for £10 8s. 6d. The church is also endowed with £40 a year, rising from land given by John Dixon, Esq. The living is worth about £285 per annum, of which sum £230 are received from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £40 from a rent-charge payable out of the Knells estate, and the rest from other sources. The present vicar is the Rev. Herbert Edwin Henshaw Coombes, M.A., who was inducted in 1895.

The school, contiguous to the church, is a small stone structure, rebuilt in 1841, and thoroughly repaired and improved in 1897 at a cost of £120.

CHARITY. - Miss Patrickson, who died in 1854, left the sum of £200 to the resident clergyman and churchwardens of Houghton, the interest of which is to be applied to the benefit of the poor of the township, and a further sum of £200 for the benefit of the school, so long as it shall be under the National Society.

The Knells is a beautiful mansion, the seat of Mrs. Fell; Houghton Hall is the residence of Mrs. Foster; and Houghton House of H. Brooks-Broadhurst, Esq., J.P.

The Wesleyan Chapel is a plain brick building, erected in 1893,



Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

19 June 2015

© Steve Bulman