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. 11d., 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 merriment.

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 hundred years.

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. 9d.


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