Musgrave (Great) Parish
|>||Is only a small district, lying on the east side of the
Eden, bounded by the parishes of Brough, Warcop, Crosby-Garret, and Kirkby-Stephen, and
containing about 170 inhabitants. The village occupies a pleasant situation on an
eminence, commanding a fine view of the picturesque vale, and distant two miles S.W. of
Brough. The adjacent hamlets of Fleetholm, and Langrigg1
are about one mile north of the village. The church (St. Theobald) is a handsome
edifice, situate near the river, a little below the village. It was rebuilt in 1845, at
the cost of £550, of which Sir George Musgrave gave £125, the Church Building Society
£40, and the remainder was raised by local subscription. It has a tower and two bells,
and is capable of seating 180 hearers. In the great flood of 1822, the water was a yard
deep both in the church and rectory house. There are several ancient monuments in this
church, one of which is the figure of a monk graved in brass. The living is a rectory
in the patronage of the Bishop of Carlisle, to one of whose predecessors it was granted in
1248, by the abbot and convent of St. Mary's, York, to which establishment it had been
given, at a very early period. It is valued in Liber Regis, at £16 1s. 11½d.,
but was afterwards certified to the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, as of the clear
yearly value of £48. About the year 1750, it was augmented with a small estate at Orton,
purchased with £200 given by the Rev. Simon Pindar, who was rector of this parish from
1719, till his death in 1755; and £200 obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty. It is now worth
£200 a year, and is enjoyed by the Rev. Joseph Chapelhow, who was collated in 1846.
The Rev. Septimus Collinson, D.D., Provost of
Queen College, Oxford, and Prebendary of Worcester, gave a valuable service of communion
plate to this church, in 1809; and by will in 1827, left £1500 in 3 per cent. consols,
for the endowment of a free school in this, his native parish, to be conducted on
the Madras system2. His nephews and executors, the Rev. John
Collinson, then of Lamesly, and Gateshead, in the county of Durham, paid the legacy duty
themselves, and also contributed £300 towards the erection of the school and master's
house, which were built in 1829, at Langrigg, where the learned doctor resided during his
youth, till he was removed to the grammar school, at Appleby. The late Rev. Sir C. J.
Musgrave gave the timber requisite for the buildings. The parish previously possessed a
school endowment of £3 a year, and a poor stock of £1 16s. 8d., together with 10s.
arising from Richardson's rent. The school income amounts to £45 a year, £5 of which is
paid to a schoolmistress.
Rush bearing, an ancient custom of old Midsummer
day, is still performed here annually, when twelve or eighteen couple of females dressed
in their holiday garb, and each bearing a garland of flowers, to the village green,
proceed to the church where they hang up their garlands, and take down those placed there
on the preceding anniversary, and the day is closed with rustic sports and innocent
Longevity. - In 1819, Mrs. Hutchinson died at
Little Musgrave, on the opposite side of the river, aged 103 years; and several other
persons in the neighbourhood lived to an extreme old age, a few of whom attained nearly a
The manor of Musgrave "without question, received its name from the family of Musgrave, who resided here for several ages, afterwards removed to Hartley Castle, and finally settled at Eden Hall, in Cumberland." - Burn. The Musgraves came to England with the Conqueror, and soon afterwards obtained a grant of this manor, which they still hold. The tenants are all customary, and pay arbitrary fines on change of lord or tenant, limited so as not to exceed two years' value. Rateable value, £1591 1s. 9¾d.
Mannix & Co.,History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851
1. Not to be confused with the village of
the same name in Bromfield parish, in Cumberland.
2. I've never come across this before - any offers ?
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman