Is bounded by those of Askham, Barton, Morland, Shap, and Lowther, and is nearly five miles in length and three in breadth. It is surrounded on almost every side by lofty and rugged mountains, but the soil in the vales is very fertile. At the south western extremity of the parish, in the Earl of Lonsdale's manor of Thornthwaite, is the beautiful lake Haweswater1. It is not divided into townships, but contains several small hamlets, with part of the chapelry of Mardale, which is mostly in the parish of Shap. The Earl of Lonsdale is the largest owner of the soil, but Messrs. John Noble, and Thos. Mounsey have large estates here. Rateable value, £2740 12s. 4d.
BAMPTON, and BAMPTON GRANGE, are two neighbouring villages, on the opposite banks of the Lowther, and near the confluence of that river with the stream which flows from Haweswater2. It is distant four miles N.W. of Shap, and about eight miles S. of Penrith. The township is divided into two manors, viz., Bampton Patrick, and Bampton Cundale, the former having taken its distinctive appellation from Patrick de Culwen, an ancestor of the Curwens of Workington, and the latter from the Cundale family. Prior to the division of the manor, it is supposed that Bampton was held by a person named Bomba, and there is to this day a small hamlet adjoining the church called Bombey3. Mr Denton calls Bampton, in Cumberland, Villate Bemboe, or Bemboe. The manor of Bampton Patrick was held by the family of Culwen, afterwards Curwen, and de Cliburne, from the 15th of Richard II to the 18th of Henry VIII. It passed eventually to the family of Warwick, and, in 1772, was purchased of Francis Warwick, Esq., by Edward Hasell, Esq., but is now the property of the Earl of Lonsdale. The other manor was carried in marriage from the Cundales to the Cliburnes, who held it for two centuries, after which it was purchased by the Lowthers, and is now possessed by the Earl of Lonsdale.
The church, dedicated to St. Peter,
or St. Patrick, is a neat edifice, in Bampton Grange, rebuilt on the site of the old one,
in 1726. It was appropriated to Shap Abbey, in A.D. 1170, and in 1263, confirmed by
Robert, Bishop of Carlisle, who granted to the abbot and convent, in consequence of the
smallness of the revenues of that establishment, the privilege of officiating in the said
church "by two or three of their own canons, one of whom to be presented to the
bishop, as vicar, to be answerable to the bishop in spirituals, and another to be
answerable to the abbot and convent, in temporals. They were, however, bound to have one
secular chaplain in the said church,
Bampton Grammar School, also in Bampton Grange, was founded in 1623, by Thomas Sutton, D.D., who endowed it with £500, which was afterwards laid out in a purchase of tithes in the neighbourhood. William Walker, Esq., in 1657, bequeathed a yearly rent charge of fifteen guineas, for the purpose of providing the scholars with books, and, in 1816, John Noble, Esq., endowed it with £500, 3 per cent. stock. A legacy of £150 was also left to the church and school, by William Stephenson, rector of Laxton, in Nottinghamshire. Of the twelve governors six are appointed trustees, and the master was, according to an agreement made in 1665, required to be "in holy orders, and a licensed preacher;" but the trustees have since dispensed with this qualification. The present revenue of this excellent institution amounts to £75 per annum. The learned Rev. John Bowstead, B.D., who died a few years ago, was upwards of fifty-three years head master of this school. He was highly celebrated for his great proficiency as a classical teacher, and some years previous to his death, was presented with a handsome piece of plate, worth more than a hundred guineas, purchased with a subscription raised by a number of gentlemen whom he had educated. The present master is Mr. Frederick Wilson.
The parish enjoys the benefit of three public libraries, consisting of about 700 volumes, established in 1710, 1750, and 1757, by Dr. Bray, Messrs. Tinclar and Noble, and Lord Lonsdale. Here are also two other endowed schools, viz., at Measand, and Roughill. The former was founded in 1713, by Richard Wright, and Richard Lacy, who endowed it with an estate now worth upwards of £40 per annum. The school at Roughill was endowed in 1662, by Edmund Noble, with £40, since which it has received some other small gifts, so that its present income amounts to £9 per annum.
Besides the villages of Bampton and Bampton Grange, the parish also includes several small hamlets, amongst which are Bombey, half a mile S.; Butterwick, one mile N. by W.; High and Low Knipe, two hamlets, one mile N. by E.; and Roughhill one mile W.N.W. of Bampton. The hamlet of Measand4 is in Mardale chapelry on the west side of Haweswater lake, four miles S.W. of Bampton.
Riggendale5 is a deep romantic glen, stretching from High Street mountain to the bridge between Chapel Hill and Mardale Green, distant about eight miles from Shap, in which parish it is partly situated.
Thornthwaite is a manor, belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale, situate in the parishes of Bampton and Shap, and in the chapelries of Mardale and Swindale. It includes the whole of Haweswater lake, at the foot of which is the hall, a pleasant residence, now occupied by Mr. John Abbot.
EMINENT MEN. - Thomas Gibson, M.D., who married the daughter of Richard Cromwell, son of the Protector, was born at Knipe, in this parish. He was physician-general to the army, and author of "A System of Anatomy." Edmund Gibson, D.D., nephew to the above, was born at the same place, in 1669. Having laid the foundation of his classical learning at a school in this county, he entered as scholar at Queen's College, Oxford, in 1686. The study of the northern language being particularly cultivated, about this time, at the University, Mr. Gibson rigidly applied himself to that branch of literature, and in a short time translated into Latin the "Chronicon Saxonicum," which he published, together with considerable additions and improvements, concluding this branch of leaning with "Reliquia Spelmanianę," or the posthumous works of Sir Henry Spelman, relating to the laws of and antiquities of England, which, with a life of the author, he published at Oxford, in 1698. This work he dedicated to Archbishop Tenison, into whose family he was about this time taken as domestic chaplain, and was soon afterwards made rector of Lambeth, and archdeacon of Surrey. Upon the death of the archbishop, in 1715, Dr. Wake, Bishop of Lincoln, succeeded him, and Dr, Gibson was appointed to that see, from which he was translated to the Bishopric of London, in 1720. So sensible were the dignitaries of the church, of his great abilities, that a sort of ecclesiastical ministry was committed to his charge for several years. He died at Bath, on the 6th of September, 1748, aged 79 years.
Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851
1. The appearence of the lake was
dramatically changed when it was dammed to provide water for Manchester, construction
commencing in 1929. The water level was raised by about 30 metres, and many picturesque
country lanes and fields disappeared under the water, as well as the pretty hamlet of
Mardale. Despite the unattractive approach to the valley from the north - the dam being
very prominent - the upper reaches of the valley are most attractive, wild and rugged.
This is the haunt of England's only breeding golden eagles.
2. Haweswater Beck.
3. Now Bomby.
4. Another victim of the dam.
5. Now Riggindale.
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman