Comprises a long narrow and irregularly formed tract of country, lying in two of the Westmorland Wards, and in the Hundred of South Lonsdale, in Lancashire. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Kirkby-Lonsdale, on the south by that of Warton, in Lancashire, on the north by the parish of Kendal, and on the west by those of Beetham and Heversham, and is divided into the four townships of Burton, Dalton, Preston Patrick, and Holme. Its population in 1801 amounted to 1182; in 1811, 1330; in 1821, 1642; in 1831, to about 2000; and in 1841, to 2387, and the estimated value of the lands and buildings in 1815, was £9690.
Homescales, a hamlet in Old Hutton township, belongs ecclesiastically to Burton parish.
BURTON-IN-KENDAL is a clean and well-built market town, occupying a pleasant and salubrious situation eleven miles S. of Kendal, seven miles W. by S. of Kirkby-Lonsdale; eleven miles N. by E. of Lancaster; and 251 N.W. by N. from London. The market place is a large area, lined with good houses and shops, and having in the centre a handsome stone cross. Although its present general appearance is that of a modern country town, yet some of its buildings attest that it is a place of considerable antiquity. The market, which is held on Tuesday, was established in 1661, and in the course of the next century had become the most extensive corn market in the county, the chief part of which was brought hither by the farmers of North Lancashire, from whom it was purchased by the Kendal, Sedbergh, and Kirkby-Lonsdale corn dealers; but shortly after the opening of the Kendal and Lancaster canal, in 1819, the market began to decline, and is now of very small importance. Two annual fairs were also established here in 1661, one on the 23rd of April, and the other on Whitsun Monday, the latter of which, in 1829, was described as more a mart of pleasure than of traffic, "though," says that writer, "a few cattle are brought for sale, and a number of farm servants stand to get the straws taken out of their mouths, or in other words to get hired." Of late years the increased facility of transit by railway, and the consequent partially1 desertion of the two Kendal and Lancaster turnpike roads, which pass through Burton, has nearly annihilated the trade of the town. The salubrity of the climate has, however, induced many respectable families to select it as an eligible place of residence.
The church, dedicated to St. James, is an
ancient Gothic edifice, with a square tower and six bells. The interior consists of a
chancel, nave, side aisles, and two chapels, or burial places, belonging to Dalton and
Preston Halls. It was thoroughly repaired and restored in 1844, at a cost of £500. The
pulpit and reading desk are of oak, curiously carved, and dated 1607. On the chapel
belonging to Preston Hall is the following inscription:- Gloria in excelsis, Deo J.F.F.,
1634; and inside Dalton Hall chapel is the
This church, with many others, was given by lvo de
Talebois, the first Baron of Kendal, to St. Mary's abbey in York, and was confirmed to
that sacred institution by his successor, Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, about the year 1200. In
1460, the vicar's revenue was £20 a year, arising from a house and garden and a close
called Kirk Butts, "with all small tithes, oblations, and mortuaries," but out
of this income he had to repair the chancel, find candles, and pay £10 3s. 4d. to the
monastery. After the dissolution, the rectory and advowson of the vicarage were granted by
Queen Elizabeth to the Earl of Lincoln and Christopher Gough, Esq., "with reservation
of a rent to the crown of £9 7s. 8d.; to the schoolmaster of Kendal, £9 6s. 8d.; to the
curate, of Hugill, £3 6s. 8d., and to the Bishop of Chester, £2. The great tithes
afterwards belonged to the Prestons, of Preston Patrick, whose two heiresses carried them
in marriage, about the middle of the 17th century, to the Lords Montgomery and Clifford;
the former having
The advowson of the vicarage passed through several families, one of whom sold it to Thomas Hutton, of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and Jeffrey Tenant, of Bentham, Yorkshire. It afterwards passed with the heiress of the Hutton family to John Johnstone, Esq., and was next possessed by the Rev. Charles Simeon, whose trustees are now the patrons. The Rev. Robert Morewood, M.A. is the present incumbent, inducted in 1842.
The Vicarage is valued in the King's books at £15 17s. 3½d., and was certified at £31 6s. 8d., in 1725, in which year it received an augmentation of £200 from the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, and £200 from the executrix of Lady Moyer, and other donors, which sums were laid out in the purchase of a house and estate for the vicar; the ancient house and glebe called Kirk-Butts, having been seized by one of the lords of the manor. In 1772, it was augmented with an estate at Yealand Conyers, in Lancashire, purchased with £400, viz., £200 obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, £100 given by the Rev. John Hutton, then vicar, and £100 given by the Countess Dowager Gower. On the enclosure of the commons in 1815, the tithes of the parish were commuted for an allotment of 55A. 0R. 20P., for Burton; 48A., for Holme; 58A. 1R., for Dalton; and the sum of £420, for Holmscales. The Vicarage House is a neat building, erected in 1844, and commands a beautiful prospect. It stands on a gentle eminence, at the end of an avenue, and is dotted with thirty-six fine lime trees, planted about 120 years ago.
The National School, which was erected by subscription in 1817, on land given by John Hutton, Esq., ancestor of one of the late vicars, is now conducted by Mr. William B. Carter; but the Grammar School which once possessed a considerable endowment, has not been in existence for several years.
'The manor of Burton is chiefly of the Marquis division of the ancient Barony of Kendal, and is held of the crown by a yearly quit-rent of £1 11s. paid to the Earl of Lonsdale as lessee. It is called Bortun in the the Domesday book, and, at the time of the conquest, belonged to one Torsin, but in 1190 was in the possession of the crown. It was soon after granted to the de Burtons, but on the failure of the heirs male of the house of Burton, about the year 1320, it was carried in marriage by an heiress to Sir Thomas de Betham, of Beetham Hall, by whose posterity it was held till the close of the 15th century, when it was carried in marriage by Anne de Betham to Sir Robert Middleton, of Leighton, and by a co-heiress of that house to the Oldfields, of Cheshire. It was afterwards purchased by Thomas Benison, Esq., of Hornby, in whose family it continued till 1770, when it was sold to T. Pearson, Esq., who was succeeded in 1782 by Miss Pearson, and in 1790 by W. Atkinson, Esq., husband of Mrs. Sarah Atkinson, the present owner, who came into possession in 1826, as tenant for life under the will of her husband, and who holds a Court Baron on Whit-Monday and Martinmassday, at the Green Dragon, for the admission of the customary tenants, and for the recovery of debts under forty shillings. She is also the principal land-owner of this township, which is rated at £3240. Petty sessions are held every alternate Tuesday, when George Wilson, Esq., of Dallam Tower, and Edmund Hornby, Esq., of Dalton Hall, are generally on the bench. Mr. Edward Hutton, solicitor, of Milnthorp, is clerk to the magistrates. A Friendly Society was established here in 1827, and here are also lodges of Oddfellows, Mechanics, &c.
In 1777, the inhabitants expended "some hundreds of pounds" in draining a large tract of marshy and mossy ground on the west side of the town, the main drain being "between two and three miles long, four yards broad, and two yards deep." Under the soil "is a bed of whitish earth, which is neither sand, nor clay, nor marl, and yet in some respects resembles each of them. It every where abounds with shells of the snail and periwinkle kind, and such as appear sometimes in limestone and marble." Trunks of large oak and fir trees were found imbedded in the moss. Heron-sike is a small hamlet, in this township, half a mile S. of Burton.2
Clawthorp, or Clawthrop,3 as it is generally pronounced, is a small hamlet in this township, one mile N.N.E. of the town, and about the same distance S.S.E. of Farlton Knott, a beautiful limestone mountain, said to resemble much in form the rock of Gibraltar. On the edge of another mountain, nearer to Burton, is a natural curiosity called Cawthorp-Clints, or Curwen Woodkins. It consists of a large plain of naked limestone rock, a little inclined to the horizon, and deeply rent with a number of fissures, six, eight, or ten inches in width, which could only have been formed by the ebbing of copious waters, and, there being in the neighbourhood several limestone plains, with a surface of similar lineaments, shews that the dry lands were once submerged in the great deeps, that the ocean has gone down from the hills, and left records of the several stages of a constructive process, which furrowed the earth's surface.
Adjoining the township of Burton, but in the county of Lancaster, is a place called Hilderstone, the residence of Mr.John Backhouse, where many of his forefathers have been interred.
DALTON township, which is one mile E. by S. of Burton, is in the hundred of South Lonsdale, in Lancashire. It is rated at £1814. The principal landowners are Mrs. Atkinson, and Edmund Hornby, Esq., who is also lord of the manor, and resides at Dalton Hall, a splendid mansion, about one mile of Burton. He has been for thirty years chairman of the Quarter Sessions, and was High Sheriff for Lancashire, in 1829.
HOLME is a large village, township, and chapelry, on the Lancaster and Kendal canal, two miles N. by W. of Burton. Here is a large flax mill, with a coarse linen and sacking manufactory, at which upwards of 500 hands are employed. It is the largest establishment of the kind in the county, and has been for many years carried on by Messrs. Waithman and Co. Near to the factory is a small Catholic chapel, erected by a gentleman of Yealand, in 1848, in which the Rev. Mr. Anderson, Catholic priest, of Yealand, reads prayers, and gives instruction on every Sunday afternoon.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor was part of the possession of Torsin, but was afterwards the property of the crown. It was granted by Richard I to Gilbert, the seventh Baron of Kendal, who granted it to Thomas, son of Gospatrick, to whose son Patrick, it was confirmed by William de Lancastre. It was subsequently possessed by the Tunsdals and Prestons, and in 1717, was conveyed, with other adjacent manors, to the family of Charteris, but has since been purchased by the Wilsons, of Dallam Tower. "Holme Park, almost three miles in circumference, was, in Sir Thomas Preston's time, well stocked with deer."
The chapel, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a remarkably neat building situated in the village, and was erected by subscription in 1839, at about £500. In 1845, it was endowed by the ecclesiastical commissioners with £107 a year, and is a curacy in the patronage of the vicar of Burton, and incumbency of the Rev. Samuel Moon. The parsonage house, which is a comfortable dwelling contiguous to the chapel, was erected in the same year.
The school was built in 1840, by subscription, and a grant of £20 from the National Society, and is partly supported by voluntary contributions. Mr. William Troughton is the present master.
PRESTON PATRICK is a large township and chapelry, containing the small hamlets of Gatebeck, Goose Green, Millness, and Nook, with a number of dispersed dwellings extending from four to six miles N. by E. of Burton, on the E. side of the river Belo.4 Its rateable value is £2600 1s. 2d., and the largest owners of the soil are the Earl of Lonsdale, John Wakefield, Esq., Alderman Thompson, M.P., William Talbot, and John Yeates Thexton, Esqs., Rev. Geo. Cartmel, and Mrs. Atkinson.
The chapel is a neat Gothic structure, situated on an acclivity, in the centre of what was formerly a large park. It is supposed to be dedicated to St. Gregory, and was endowed with parochial privileges in 1781, but there seems to have been a chapel in this township in the early part of the 12th century. The curacy is in the gift of the inhabitants, who pay chapel salary, which is collected yearly on the 21st September, and is now enjoyed by the Rev. J. Hebdon. It is worth £67 14s. 4d. per annum. In 1722, this chapel was augmented with an estate at Nook, purchased with £200 obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, and £240 given by James Graham, Esq., Sir John Mawson, and the inhabitants. It was also augmented in 1773, with fifteen acres of land at Houghgill, in Yorkshire, purchased with £200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and £200 given by the Countess Dowager Gower; and in 1810, with 2A. 3R. 15P. of land at Bentham, in Yorkshire, purchased with £200 more of Queen Anne's Bounty. The ancient salary of £3 6s. 8d. is paid out of the tenements in the chapelry. In the chapel yard is a venerable yew tree, which, even in 1692, was described by Mr. Machel, as "being very old and decayed." This patriarchial tree has probably withstood the blasts of 400 winters.
The school was built by subscription about the year 1780, and, at the enclosure of the commons in 1814 was endowed with an allotment of twenty acres, now let for £9 15s. The chapel wardens and overseers are the trustees.
The abbey, which was founded here in the 12th century, by Thomas, son of Gospatrick, and which he endowed with lands and various privileges, was soon after removed by its founder to Shap, as has been seen at page 238. The manor of Preston Patrick, like Bampton Patrick, is supposed to have received the latter part of its name from Patrick de Culwen, a descendant of Ivo de Talebois, first Baron of Kendal, and the great ancestor of the Curwens of Workington. Preston is a corruption of Priest Town, and the manor was long held by a family of its own name, several of whom were knights and baronets. It was sold in the 18th century to the Charteris family, of Hornby castle, one of whom, in 1773, enfranchised the tenants for the sum or £5130. The Earl of Lonsdale is now lord of the manor, and owner of the Preston hall estate, occupied by a farmer. Preston park was formerly well stocked with fallow deer. There are several handsome villas in this township, amongst which are Lune House, Wm. Talbot, Esq.; Long Croft, Miss Talbot, and Challen Hall, the property of John Wakefield, Esq.
This hall was rebuilt in 1770, by Mr. Robt. Dickinson, and was anciently called Chanon hall, from the canons of the abbey, to whom it is supposed to have belonged. At Park End is a bobbin mill, and in the township are extensive bleach works, and two corn mills.
Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851
2. Not marked on the modern 1:50,000 OS map.
3. Clawthorpe today.
4. These are all to the east of Peasey Beck, which joins with Stainton Beck east of Milnthorp, the combined waters are then known as the River Bela.
24 March 2008
© Steve Bulman