Edenhall Parish

  > Is bounded on the east by the river Eden, on the south by the Eamont, on the west by the parish of Penrith, and on the north by Great Salkeld parish. It is only about 2 miles from north to south, and 1 from east to west, containing 266 inhabitants, and 3354 A. 1R. 11P. including roads, rivers, &c., nearly all the property of Sir George Musgrave, Bart. who is lord of the manor. The soil on the hills is generally of a light sandy nature, but on the banks of the rivers a very rich loam prevails, and the principal crops are oats, barley, and turnips. The annual value of the land rated to the poor rates, is 2689 3s. 11d., and for the tithe rent charge, 2330 14s. 2d. About a mile from the village is a small lake, well stocked with carp and trout.

The manor of Edenhall is within the forest of Inglewood, but is now the inheritance of "the martial and warlike family of the Musgraves," * whose ancestor Sir Thomas Musgrave, Knight, had it in marriage with William Stapleton's second daughter, about the thirty-eighth Henry IV (1549), and before that period the Stapletons held it from the first year of king Edward III when they obtained it in marriage with Julian, one of the two daughters of Robert Turpe, who held it in the reign of Henry III. It was given by William the Conqueror to Henry Fitz Swein. Many of the Musgraves distinguished themselves in the field, and held honourable situations. The ancestor of this ancient and illustrious family came over with William the Conqueror, and they were soon after seated at Musgrave, in Westmorland. Sir Richard was created a Baronet in the ninth of James I (1611), and that title has since been possessed by his descendants. The late Rev. Sir Christopher John Musgrave, the ninth baronet, died May 4th 1834, and was succeeded in dignity and estate by his brother, Sir George Musgrave, of Eden Hall, Hartley, and Musgrave, Bart. born June 14th 1799, and educated at University College, Oxford.

Eden Hall1 is an elegant mansion in the Italian style of architecture, pleasantly situated in a beautiful park, with lawns sloping finely to the edge of the Eden. The present hall was built in 1821, by Sir Philip Musgrave, Bart. and contains several handsome rooms, whose walls are decorated with family portraits and other paintings. The old hall has been described as a handsome stone structure, built in the style of architecture which prevailed about the time of Charles's, and as having a private chapel. The celebrated drinking glass, called the Luck of Eden Hall2, on the preservation of which, according to a legendary tale, the prosperity of the Musgrave family depends, is still carefully preserved in a stamped leather case, ornamented with scrolls of vine leaves, and having on the top the letters I.H.S., and is said to be of the time of Henry IV or Edward IV. The tradition respecting the Luck of Eden Hall is , that the butler, going to fetch water from the well, called at St. Cuthbert's, which is near the hall, surprised a company of fairies who were dancing on the green, near the spring, where they had left this vessel, which the butler seized, and on his refusal to restore it, they uttered the ominous words :-

"Whene'er this cup shall break or fall,
Farewell the luck of Eden Hall."

The glass cup is of Venice manufacture, ornamented with different coloured enamel and gold, and is supposed to be one of the oldest glasses in England. Dr. Todd supposes this vessel to have been a chalice, when it was unsafe to have these sacred vessels made of costlier metals, on account of the predatory habits which prevailed on the borders. He also says that the bishops of this diocese permitted not only the parochial, or secular clergy, but also the monastic, or regular priests, to celebrate in chalices of that clear and transparent metal. The following was one of the canons made in the reign of king Athelstan :- Sacer calix fusilis sit, non ligneus - Let the holy chalice be fusile, and not of wood.

edenhall.jpg (50636 bytes)The church3, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, is a beautiful structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, a south porch, with a vestry in the north side of the aisle, and a low tower, and is surrounded with evergreens. About the year 1298, it was given by Edward I to the priory of St. Mary, Carlisle, and in 1368, the prior and canons obtained its appropriation , so that the dean and chapter are now appropriators and patrons of the vicarage, which is annexed to that of Langwathby. Both are valued in the king's books at 17 12s. 1d. and are now worth 178 per annum. The Rev. Beilby Porteus is vicar of the united benefices, and performs divine service at each place on every Sunday morning and afternoon, alternately. In the church are several marble monuments to the Musgrave family, with appropriate inscriptions; and it is elaborately fitted up in the richest and most costly manner. The gable is surmounted by the cross, that sacred symbol of the catholic church, and it is also seen over the entrance porch, and on the vestry. The pews are of oak, and the pulpit is a rich and chaste specimen of carving. Some of the windows are square headed, with drip stones, and others pointed with mullions, and the whole are filled up with stained glass. Among the communion plate are two massive silver chalices, and two patens presented by the Musgrave family.

Charities :- Sir Philip Musgrave and succeeding members of that family gave 163 4s. 10d. the interest to be divided amongst six poor people. This money seems to have been laid out about 1737, in the purchase of seventeen acres of land at Lazonby. There is also the sum of 75 secured by mortgages on the road from Brough to Eamont Bridge, at four per cent. This money arose from different sums given by the Musgrave family, and from 30 given by the tenants of Edenhall. At the enclosure of Inglewood Forest, in 1811, 25A. 2R. 24P. was allotted to the poor of the parish, in respect of the land at Lazonby. In 1771 John Williamson gave 50, the interest to be divided between the schoolmaster and the poor of Edenhall. In 1806, Sir John Chardin Musgrave, Bart. left 50 to be added to the fund of the poor of this parish; and in 1838, Mary, dowager lady Musgrave left 100 for the benefit of the school here. There is also a female free school in the village, liberally supported by the present lady Musgrave.

* Camden


Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847




1. Eden Hall no longer exists, having been demolished in 1934.
2. The Luck of Eden Hall is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. On a recent visit to the V. & A. I made a point of seeing it. It's described as being of 13th century Syrian manufacture.
3. St. Cuthbert's church contains some Norman elements. It's rather surprising that the restoration of 1834, mentioned by Pevsner, is omitted from the directory.

Photo Steve Bulman.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman