West Newton

This district, which now, by Lord Blandford's Act, constitutes a separate and distinct parish in all ecclesiastical matters, is united with Allonby for civil purposes. The area of the district appropriated to the church is about 2,550 acres, which are assessed at 2,991; gross rental, 3,336, The population embraced within its limits numbers about 400. The parish is comprised within Allerdale-below-Derwent ward, and petty sessional division; the deanery of Maryport; the electoral division of Aspatria; and the poor law union, county court and rural districts of Wigton.

The township of West Newton contains 1,763 acres of fertile land. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture, and live in the village of West Newton and the hamlets of Yearn Gill or Urn Gill, Howrigg, and a few scattered houses.

The manor, which formerly included Allonby, was granted by Alan, second lord of Allerdale, to Odard de Wigton who gave it to Ketel, his fourth son, and father of Adam de Newton, who first assumed the local name. After six generations, the de Newtons terminated in a daughter and heiress, who on her marriage with Roger de Martindale, conveyed the manor of West Newton to that family. The Martindales, like the Newtons, were fated soon to end in daughters, and a new narne appears on the manorial roll. This time it is a Musgrave, of Hayton Castle, who, by his marriage with Isabel, daughter and co-heiress of James Martindale, became possessed of the manor. This family enjoyed it through seven generations, when Eleanor, sole daughter and heiress of Sir Richard Musgrave-Hylton, brought West Newton in marriage to William Joliffe, Esq., M.P., from whom it has descended to C.H. Joliffe, Esq., the present lord of the manor. The old baronial seat, or castle, a name with which it was sometimes dignified, stood at the west end of the village; but the few traces that were discernible when our edition of 1847 was published have now entirely disappeared, and a small hillock in the centre of a field alone marks the site. Besides the lord of the manor, the principal landowners are T.B. Atkinson, Joseph Richardson, William Cape, the Trustees of T. Robinson, Forster Farrall, and Hodgson Carr.

The lands of West Newton are held by customary tenure, subject to a fine of two years' rent on the death of the lord or change of tenant; the remainder is freehold. A court of the manor is held yearly.

The village of West Newton is pleasantly situated at the junction of two small rivulets, 3 miles E. by N. of Allonby, 8 miles N.E. of Maryport, and the same distance W. by S. of Wigton.

The Church, dedicated to St. Matthew, was erected in 1857. Previous to that year this part of the parish was dependent for its religious ministrations upon the church of Bromfield. The want of more church accommodation had long been felt, and time only tended to increase the urgency of the demand. A praiseworthy effort was made by Mrs. Barwis, of Langrigg Hall, to raise funds for the erection of a church. 2,300 was the result of her labours; but at this time John Todd, Esq., a Manchester merchant, and a native of the township, generously came forward and offered to build, at his own expense, a church, parsonage, school, and residence. The offer was accepted, and the amount collected by Mrs. Barwise was invested as an endowment for the benefit of the living. The church is in the early English style, consisting of nave and chancel, and cost about 1,000. There are several stained glass windows. One at the west side, portraying St. Matthew and St. Barnabas, was erected by Mrs. Barwis to the memory of her daughter; two on the north side, one, on which is depicted the Good Samaritan, is in memory of John Wilkinson, of Mealrigg, the other to the memory of Miss Todd, of West Newton House. The Rev. John Bore, for 40 years vicar of this church, died in 1898, and to his memory, and that of his wife, Elizabeth Bore, a beautiful window has been inserted in the south side, representing their patron saints, St. John the Divine and St. Elizabeth. In the church are two brass plates, one to the memory of Mr. Todd's two wives, and another to himself. The entire endowment is now 6,500, which provides 208 a year, the present value of the living, which is held by the Rev. H.M. Todd. The right of presentation is vested in the Bishop of the diocese.

The school and master's house were erected in 1878 by the same generous gentleman, at a cost of 1,500. They are situated near the church, and are in harmony with that structure both in style and material. The school is well endowed by Mr. Todd, and has an average attendance of 75.

The parsonage is a neat building also in the early English style, and cost about 1,000; but with the additions since made by the incumbent, the entire cost was about 1,400.

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Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901


19 June 2015

Steve Bulman