Kirkby-Lonsdale Parish

  > This parish in bounded by Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the parishes of Burton and Kendal, and comprises the greater part of Lonsdale Ward, being about ten miles in length and from four to six in breadth. It is a picturesque and highly interesting district, intersected by the Lune, which here assumes the character of a fine river, and flows through a fruitful and well-cultivated valley. It is divided into the following nine townships, viz.:- Barbon, Casterton, Firbank, Hutton Roof, Killington, Kirkby-Lonsdale, Lupton, Mansergh, and Middleton, of which seven are chapelries; and its population in 1801, was 3061; in 1811, 3235; in 1821, 3669; in 1831, 3949; and in 1841, 4178. The estimated annual value of the property within its boundaries is about 30,000.

KIRKBY-LONSDALE is a handsome market town, pleasantly situated on the west bank of the Lune, five miles E. by N. of Burton, fifteen miles N.N.E. of Lancaster, eleven miles S. by W. of Sedbergh, twenty-four miles S.S.W. of Kirkby-Stephen, thirteen miles S.E. by S. of Kendal, and 245 miles N.N.W. of London, lying on the verge of Lancashire and within a few miles of Yorkshire. Its name signifies the church town in the valley upon the Lon, and its antiquity may be inferred from its having had a
charter for a market and fair as early as the year 1227, the former weekly on Thursday, and the latter on the eve, day, and morrow, of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin. The market is still held weekly on Thursday, and is tolerably well supplied with provisions, &c.

Five Fairs are held here annually, viz., on Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, and that day three weeks,1 5th of October, and 21st of December. The new market place is a spacious square, formed in 1823. The ancient market cross stands in the Little Market place, now devoted to the sale of fish and fuel. Most of the houses in the town have been rebuilt within the last sixty years, and are designed with good taste; and the streets are clean and well paved. The walks in the vicinity of this town are truly delightful, and the fine hanging gardens and luxuriant plantations by which it is surrounded contrast well with the white walls and blue roofs of the houses, throwing over the whole scene a pleasing and cheerful aspect. Until the last few years a carpet and blanket manufactory was carried on here, and gave employment to several of the inhabitants, many of whom were also employed in weaving coarse linen cloth, ginghams, and calicoes.

The bridge,2 which crosses the Lune, about a quarter of a mile east of the town, is very old, and for its curious workmanship, exceeds, perhaps, any in the north of England. The date of its erection has never been ascertained, but it appears to have existed before A.D. 1275, as there was in that year a grant of pontage obtained for its repair. This antique structure is built of fine white free stone, almost all of a size, and so truly squared and well cemented, that the joints are scarcely perceptible. It consists of three strong and lofty semicircular arches, turned and ribbed with the utmost exactness, about fifty-one feet span, supported by massive piers, and is, according to some, of Roman workmanship. At its east end is a stone bearing the date 1633. The mills in this neighbourhood are singularly situated on a steep declivity, and one above another, so as to receive in turns the fall of water from a brook, in its descent into the valley, from a small lake of twelve and a half acres, called Terry Bank Tarn,3 and distant three miles N.N.W. of the town. This stream turns two or more wheels, which give motion to the printing machinery of Mr. John Forster, and a bone and corn mill.

The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, stands in a spacious burial ground near the verge of a steep bank that rises from the river Lune, and is here ascended by a flight of forty-six steps, with eleven broad landings. It is a large ancient fabric, 120 feet long and 102 broad, with a spare tower 68 feet high, and is supposed to have been erected soon after the Norman Conquest; for in the process of the repairs, which were made in 1808, it was discovered that some of the timber bore the date 1149. The lower part of the tower is a splendid specimen of ancient architecture, the arched doorway leading to the belfry being composed of hewn stone bearing various devices. The upper part of the tower was rebuilt in 1705, and the present peal of six excellent bells was purchased in 1826, in which year the old bells were sold. The gallery at the west end was erected in 1757; and the organ, which was purchased in 1799, enlarged in 1810, improved with a trumpet stop in 1820, was broken to pieces in 1844 by the falling in of several of the stones which had been carried up by the workmen for repairing the tower.

The pulpit is curiously carved, and bears the date 1612. In Machel's time there were in the porch at the east end the remains of a beautiful alabaster monument, with the effigies of one of the Middletons and his lady. In the church library is the following inscription - "This library, pulpit, and new loft, together with the schoolhouse, were founded by Mr. Henry Wilson, of Underley, who gave to the college 1000, besides 35 yearly to seven poor scholars going to Queen's College, Oxford; and to this church and school, 240; to the poor of Kirkby-Lonsdale lordship, 500; besides many other gifts to pious uses, in other places, by all of which, he being dead yet speaketh." In 1486, a chantry was founded here by William Middleton, who endowed it with seven marks4 yearly, out of lands in Garsdale, in the parish of Sedbergh. In the churchyard, which is celebrated for the fine views it affords of the vale of Lune, and which is remarkable for the number of venerable beech trees by which it is margined, is a monumental pillar, raised, as the inscription records, by subscription, in memory of five young women, "all of whom were hurried into eternity in the awful destruction,
by fire, of the Rose and Crown (now Royal) Hotel in this town, on the night of the 6th December, 1820."

The church was given by Ivo de Talebois, to St. Mary's Abbey, York, and after the suppression of the religious houses, the impropriation and advowson of the vicarage were granted in 1553, by Queen Mary, to Trinity College, Cambridge, to which institution they still belong. In 1535, 26th of Henry VIII, the vicarage was valued at 20 15s. 5d., and was subsequently certified to the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, at 49 13s. 8d. The living is now worth about 600 a year, and is enjoyed by the Rev. J.H. Fisher, A.M., who was inducted in 1831. "Charles Buchanan, who was driven out of Scotland for refusing the covenant, was vicar of Kirkby-Lonsdale in the reign of Charles I, and during the progress of the rebellion he suffered greatly, being persecuted by two of his parishioners, who were captains in the parliamentary army, and got him not only sequestered, but also several times hurried to Lancaster gaol, once out of his church, and once out of his bed, the last of which times he suffered nearly three years imprisonment, but, on the Restoration, he returned to his living, and was soon afterwards made a prebendary of Carlisle, and inducted to a living in that neighbourhood." The vicarage house is a commodious building, a short distance north west of the church, and has been greatly improved by the present incumbent. On the east of the church yard is a small building called Abbots Hall, and there is also a place here called Dean's Biggin, or building, both of which are supposed to have belonged to the abbey of St. Mary, and to have been the seat of the Rural Deanery of Kirkby-Lonsdale, which is in the diocese of Chester. There are in the town three dissenting places of worship, viz., the Independent chapel, erected in 1814; a chapel belonging to a sect called Glassites, erected in 1828, and a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1834. The Independent chapel is now under the ministry of the Rev. Joseph Carr. Attached to each chapel is a Sunday school.

The Free Grammar School was founded by letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, in 1591, and placed under the control of twenty-four governors, having previously been endowed with 100 by one Godshalfe, and 100 subscribed by the inhabitants, for which sums a Mr. Tennant granted to the governors a rent charge of 20 a year out of the manors of Bedale and Scotton, in Yorkshire, being the legal interest of the same at that time. Lady Curwen, heiress of the family of Carus, gave the school site, and also certain parcels of land near the Biggins, which, with an allotment given at the enclosure, is now worth about 25 a year, which, with the rent charge of 20 is paid to the master. Mr. Henry Wilson, who died in 1628, left 120 charged upon the demesne of Thurland castle, for the use of an usher and also 400 secured on the tithes of Farleton, for exhibitions for seven poor scholars, four of them from this school, and three from Kendal school, to Queen's College, Oxford, the said scholars to be natives of Cumberland, or Westmorland. The school has the sole benefit of three other exhibitions endowed with 200 by Thos. Wilson, brother of the before-mentioned Henry. This sum was laid out in the purchase of a house and tenement at Bullbank, in Melling, now let for about 60 a year, which is paid to three scholars, sent to Christ's College, Cambridge. Amongst the eminent men who have been scholars at Kirkby-Lonsdale, are John Bell, Esq., the Rev. Wm. Carus Wilson, and Lord Langdale, all of whom were senior wranglers of Trinity College. The school is now taught by the Rev. Thomas Croft, B.A., assisted by his son. The school and master's dwelling were rebuilt in 1849, chiefly through the instrumentality of W.C. Wilson, Esq., and the other trustees.

The Infant School, established about seven years since, is also a very useful institution.

A Book Club has existed here since 1794, and now possesses a good library or upwards of five hundred volumes, deposited at the house of Mr. John Forster, who publishes for the Rev. W.C. Wilson two periodicals, one called The Friendly Visitor, commenced in 1819, and the other, The Children's Friend, begun in 1824.

The Savings Bank, established in 1818, is open every Thursday, and its deposits, in November, 1848, amounted to 28,962 8s. 7d., belonging to 1051 depositors. Mr. John Metcalfe is the actuary. The present building is a commodious edifice in the market-place, erected in 1848.

The New County Court, for the recovery of debts under 20 is held here monthly, in a room in the Royal Hotel, fitted up for the occasion. Mr. George Henry Craig is assistant clerk.

Petty Sessions, for the Lonsdale Ward, are held in another room in the same building, every Thursday, when two or more of the following magistrates are on the bench, viz. W.W.C. Wilson, W.G. Bell, E. Tatham, W.F.A. Sanders, W. Moore, W. Thompson, M.P., T. Green, Esqs., the Earl of Bective, and the Rev. J.H. Fisher. Mr. John Townson is their clerk.

The Workhouse, which was erected in 1811, at the cots of 2500 for the use of seventeen townships, which had been incorporated for the support of paupers, agreeable to an Act passed in the 22nd of George III, was converted into cottages soon after the new Poor Law came into operation.

The Manor of Kirkby-Lonsdale, like the church, was given to the Abbey of St. Mary, in York, by Ivo de Talebois, and remained in the crown after the dissolution of that establishment, till 1557, when it was granted by Queen Mary to Thomas Carus, Esq., then a lawyer of the Middle Temple, together with the demesne, the watermills, and several other lands and tenements in this neighbourhood, to hold of the crown in capite, by the service of a fortieth part of a knights fee. The family of Carus were of considerable note before the reign of Henry VIII, but, in the 29th of Elizabeth, they sold this manor with the appurtenances formerly belonging to St. Mary's Abbey, to William Thornburgh and Thomas Curwen, from whom they passed to the Prestons, of Holker, who sold them to Sir John Lowther, ancestor of the Earl of Lonsdale, the present lord of the manor, "who has the tolls, and the control of the market and fair at Kirkby-Lonsdale, and holds a Court Leet and View of Frankpledge in October, when the inspectors of the market and other officers are appointed."

About half a mile N. of the town is Underley Hall, the elegant mansion of William Thompson, Esq., M.P. for this county, and alderman of London. It stands in a spacious park, and was formerly the property of the ancient family of the Nowells, one of whom, Arthur Nowell, Esq., rebuilt it in 1828, in the magnificent Gothic style which prevailed in the reign of James I. The ancestors of alderman Thompson, the present proprietor, flourished for about three centuries at Grayrigg, and he himself, though now one of the wealthiest merchants in Britain, was born in a small farm house near Moresdale Hall - a striking proof of the capabilities of the hardy sons of the farmers and yeomen of Westmorland, for great enterprise when "transplanted into a wider sphere of action." Lunefield, the seat of Mrs. E. Carus, is another beautiful mansion in this township, occupying a pleasant and picturesque situation above the river, about a quarter of a mile east of the town. It was erected in 1815, by Roger Carus, Esq. The plan of this villa is cruciform, and its fronts are partly of polished freestone, and partly of Roman cement, with a portico of the Ionic order. The large bay windows in the rounded end of the transept command delightful views of the vale of Lune, whose rapidly-ascending banks are here richly ornamented with trees, gardens, and neat dwellings. Biggins house, one mile W. of the town, is the seat of Anthony and William Tomlinson, Esqrs.

On the opposite side of the river, one mile N.N.E. of Kirby-Lonsdale, is Casterton Hall, in Casterton township, the stately mansion of W.W.C. Wilson. Esq. and the Rev. W.C. Wilson, M.A. It stands upon an eminence, and is surrounded by fine plantations.

In the town is a dwelling, with a large garden, and a lofty embrasured tower, built about seventy years ago, commanding a most extensive prospect of the vale. Lune Cottage, the property of John B. Pearson, Esq., of Augill Castle, near Brough, is a neat dwelling, on the bank descending precipitately from the churchyard to the river Lune.

Keartswick is a small hamlet, one mile N., and Tarnside,5 another hamlet, two miles N.N.W. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. At the latter was formerly a chapel, which was demolished about 180 years ago.

BARBON is a pleasant village on the east side of the Lune, three and a half miles N. by E. of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and about one mile nearer to which town are the hamlets of High and Low Beckfoot, both in this township and chapelry, in which are the following seats, viz., Whelprigg, Joseph Gibson, Esq.; Beckside, the Rev. Benj. Hopkins; Bank House, R. J. Garnett, Esq.; Low Fields, F.J. Morris, Esq., the latter pleasantly seated on the eastern banks of the Lune. North of the village are the lofty hills, called Barbon Fell and Barbon Beacon, extending to the confines of Yorkshire. The largest landowners are W. Thompson, Esq., M.P., and K. Shuttleworth, Esq., the latter of whom is lord of the manor. Rateable value 2,383. 0s. 3d.

The chapel was rebuilt in 1815, partly by subscription and partly by a rate levied on the inhabitants of the chapelry. Prior to the year 1738 the chapel salary was only 2 10s., but in that year it was augmented with 200 from Queen Anne's Bounty, and donations of the inhabitants, with which an estate was purchased at High Beck Foot. It has since received three lots of the same bounty and several donations, with which three other estates have been purchased, one at Over Kellet, in Lancashire, in 1758, and two at Kirkthwaite, in Dent, Yorkshire, in 1772 and 1808. The estate last-mentioned, viz., Rayside, is for the joint benefit of the curacies of Barbon, and Old and New Hutton. The curate of Barbon has also one third of the rent of Tarndale close, purchased with 46 15s. of which 31 3s. 4d. was poor stock; and the interest of 210 in the Kirkby-Lonsdale Savings' Bank, obtained by the sale of land left by John Garnett, in 1721, is equally divided between the curate and schoolmaster.

The curacy is in the patronage of the vicar of Kirkby-Lonsdale and incumbency of the Rev. Benjamin Hopkins.

The school, which adjoins the chapel, was built in 1815, by subscription and an assessment.

The manor, at the time of the Domesday Survey, belonged to Tosti, Earl of Northumberland, and afterwards to the de Brebunes, Lassels, Vaughans, and Middletons, from the last of which family it was purchased by Sergeant, afterwards, Judge Shuttleworth, whose nephew, Richard Shuttleworth, of Gauthorp, enfranchised the tenants, in 1716, reserving only a yearly free rent of 15 8s.

CASTERTON township and chapelry lies between Lancashire, Barbon, and the river Lune, and contains the hamlets of High and Low Casterton, a number of dispersed dwellings, distant one mile and a half N.N.E. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. It would seem to have derived its name from some ancient camp, or castle, but there are no vestiges or record to shew that such ever existed here. A chapel formerly stood at a place called Chapel Head Close, and was probably dedicated to St. Columbe as there is a well contiguous which still bears the name of that saint.

The chapel is a neat edifice, erected by W.W.C. Wilson. Esq., in 1838. It is in the early English style of architecture. and has a square tower with three bells. It will seat about 400 persons.

The curacy in in the patronage of the vicar of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Carus Wilson, M.A., for whom the Rev. Robert Black officiates.

Casterton Schools. - The Clergy Daughters' School, established in the year 1823, is open to the whole kingdom, but its benefits are confined to the clergy with the smallest incomes. 100 pupils are clothed and educated for 14 a year each, and 3 for drawing or music, and the greater part, on leaving the school, are provided for as governesses in respectable families. The Preparatory Clergy Daughters' School, established in 1837, is situated close to the parent institution, and provides on the same terms for thirty children, chiefly orphans, who, when fit, are advanced into the other school. The Servants' School was commenced at Tunstall in 1820, and permanently established at Casterton in 1838. At this school 100 poor girls are clothed, lodged, boarded, and educated for service and teachers, for 10 a year each. The first of these schools requires 700 a year from charitable sources, the second 150, and the third 100 a year, to cover all expences. Here is also a National School erected about ten years ago.

In 1672, Queen Catharine granted a ninety-nine years' lease of this manor, with the exception of the mines, quarries, woods, &c., to Edward Wilson, of Casterton, for a fine of 50, and an annual rent of 12 6s. 8d., provided his "sons Edward, Thomas, and Roger, lived till the expiration of that period." It is now held by the Earl of Lonsdale, as lessee of the Richmond Fee. In 1492, there was a dilapidated fulling mill in this township, and in the same year one Christopher Symon paid a rent of 4d. for license to erect a corn mill, on Casterton beck. In the reign of Charles I a coal mine is said to have been "briskly worked in this township," the principal landowners of which are W.W.C. Wilson, Esq., Joseph Gibson, Esq., W. Thompson, Esq., M.P., and the Earl of Lonsdale; and its rateable value is 3257 13s. 2d.

Casterton Hall,  the seat of W.W.C. Wilson, Esq., and his son the Rev. W.C. Wilson, M.A., is already described. Casterton Old Hall is now occupied by Mr. W. Key, land agent and steward to Mr. Wilson. Casterton Parsonage is a neat mansion, the residence of W.W.C. Wilson, jun., Esq.; and Norwood Cottage is the seat of Thomas Clerke, Esq. The Grange, an elegant mansion erected in 1849, is the seat of the Rev. David B. Bevan, son of the London banker.

FIRBANK, anciently written Frithbank, is a wild mountainous township and chapelry of dispersed dwellings, on the west side of the Lune, which here forms the boundary of Yorkshire, this place being distant only from two to three miles W. of Sedbergh, and ten miles north of Kirkby-Lonsdale.

The chapel, which is a plain building, stands on the side of an extensive moor. The vicar of the parish is patron of the curacy, which is now possessed by the Rev. Wm. Clarke, of Longwell, Selside. It was endowed by Anthony Wood, with an estate in Lambrigg, together with 50, and has since received 800 of Queen Anne's Bounty, both of which sums have been laid out in the purchase of land at Firbank, Kentmere, Strickland Ketel, and Strickland Roger. The tenements of Firbank and Killington, which were anciently one manor, are all freehold, having been purchased from the mesne lords by the tenants, who consequently hold immediately of the crown as of the Marquis Fee, by the yearly free rent of 6s. 8d., "as found by inquisition 28th Charles II." This rent is now paid to the crown's lessee.

The school, which stands near the chapel, is now taught by Samuel Aikrigg.

HUTTON ROOF6 township and chapelry has a small village of its own name, at the foot of a wild and barren hill; a hamlet called Newbiggin,7 and several scattered houses, from two and a half to four miles W. by S. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. It is a romantic district, bordering upon Lancashire and Farleton Knot, and contains several limestone, fine blue flag, and millstone quarries, most of which are on Hutton Roof Cragg. The common, which was enclosed in 1815, and the low lands are fertile, and yield good crops of grain and grass. Its rateable value is 1985 4s. 4d., and its principal landowners are the Earl of Lonsdale, John Bradley, and W.R. Gregg, Esqs.

The chapel is of very ancient foundation, and its original income, twelve nobles,8 was barely sufficient for the maintenance of a curate of the 13th or 14th century. The present small chapel, which was built in 1757, is endowed with three estates purchased by Queen Anne's Bounty and benefactions; and the benefice, which is now worth above 80 per annum, is enjoyed by the Rev. Richard Hodgson, M.A., for whom the Rev. Joseph Price, M.A., officiates. It is in the gift of the vicar of the parish.

A new parsonage house is now (1849) being erected by subscription, and a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. The school, which was built by subscription in 1774, is endowed with 100, left in 1773, by Thos. Chamney. It is now taught by John Huck, of Kirkby-Lonsdale.

The manor, or at least a great part of it, was given by Ivo de Talebois, to St. Mary's abbey, York, and, as the monasteries generally held their property without any secular exaction, the township is of free tenure. Attached to the dwelling still called Park house, there was anciently an extensive park, which, in the reign of Edward VI belonged to Judge Carus, but was subsequently possessed by Colonel Charteris, whose name, Pope, with satirical acumen, introduces into the following couplet, where he says that riches are

"Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil,
To Ward, to Waters, Charteris,9 and the Devil."

The park is now the property of George Wilson, Esq., of Dallam Tower.

KILLINGTON is a mountainous township and chapelry, containing the hamlets of Killington Hall,10 Beckside, Fellside and Hallbeck, with a number of detached houses, from five to seven miles N. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. Killington was anciently included in the chapelry of Firbank, but about the year 1585, on the petition of the inhabitants of both townships to Bishop Chadderton "setting forth that by reason of their distance from the parish church, some of them being distant ten miles and none less than six; and by reason of inundations, and of storms frequently raging in those parts in the winter season, they could not carry their dead to be buried without great trouble and inconvenience, nor their children to be baptized without great peril of soul and body, nor resort thither to hear divine service and receive the sacraments, as becometh christians, and by right they are bounden," they obtained a licence to have a curate and chapel, with parochial privileges. The present chapel at Killington, which was re-opened in 1824, is an antique looking edifice. The vicar of Kirkby-Lonsdale in the patron, and the Rev. Robert Wilkinson is the incumbent. The living is worth upwards of 100 per annum, arising from 13 17s. ancient salary, 20s. yearly out of Lord's Holme; 20s. yearly out of Bendrigg estate in Old Hutton, left by William Walker; an estate in Killington, purchased with 200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and the chapel stock; an estate in Dent purchased in 1754, with 200 more of the same Bounty, and 200 left by Dr. Stratford; and the interest of 55, viz., 40 left by Thomas Hebblethwaite, 10 by Hugh Bowman, and 5 by Jacob Morland, Esq.

The school is endowed with small benefactions, left by Thomas Hebblethwaite, Jacob Morland, and Thomas Sharp, and now producing about 7 a year. Mr. John Bousfield is the present master.

Killington Hall, now occupied by a farmer, was long the residence of the knightly family of the Pickerings, from whom it passed through several families to the Morlands, who sold it about twenty-two years ago to John Upton, Esq., of Ingmire Hall, Yorkshire, and is now the property of his widow, Mrs. E. Upton. The other principal landowners are William Thompson, and Geo. Wilson, Esqrs. This manor and that of Firbank was held of the barons by the Pickerings, an early as the reign of Henry III, having in that reign obtained a grant of Killington manor, from Peter de Brus, to hold by the yearly payment of a pair of gilt spurs, or sixpence at the feast of Pentecost, and the service of the 20th part of a knight's fee when occasion should require.

LUPTON township contains the small hamlets of Cow Brow, Lupton Row, and Lupton Smithy,11 with several detached dwellings, from two and a half to four miles W.N.W. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. In Domesday Survey the manor is called Lupeton and was then part of the property of Torsin. It subsequently passed through the families of Redmans, Harringtons, Bellinghams, and Huttons, and in 1681, was purchased by Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bart., of Eden Hall, in Cumberland, but now belongs to the Earl of Lonsdale. The largest owners of the soil are Wm. Bell, W. Thompson, and Edward Wilson, Esqs. Lupton hall is the residence and property of Mr. John Briggs. At Cow Brow hamlet, which is four miles W. by N. of Kirkby-Lonsdale, is a good inn. Rateable value, 2761 3s. 9d.

MANSERGH township and chapelry is a wild district, containing about twenty scattered dwellings, and the village of Old Town, about three miles N. by W. of Kirkby-Lonsdale.

The chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, was built in 1726, by Jacob Dawson, on his estate called Nether Hall, "the inhabitants paying for their seats, and subscribing with Mr. Dawson 120, to which Oliver Martin added 80, and the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty 200." The latter afterwards gave two more lots of 200 each, Lady Gower 100, and the curate, in 1777, 100. These sums, amounting to 1000, were laid out in the purchase of estates at Old Hutton, Dent, and Casterton. The vicar of the parish is the patron, and the Rev. John Rowlandson is the incumbent curate. The chapel is a neat building, with a turret and one bell, and was greatly improved a few years since by the late Christopher Wilson, Esq., father of Edw. Wilson, Esq. of Rigmaden, which is a pleasant mansion in this township. The school, which stands near the chapel, was erected in 1839, at the sole expence of the late Mr. Wilson, who also contributed 20 a year towards the master's salary, and this sum is still paid by his son.

The manor, at the Domesday Survey belonged to Torsin, and was subsequently held under the lords of the barony by the de Manserghs, the Riggmaddens, Wards, and Godshalfes, from whom it passed to Christopher Wilson, Esq., of Abbot Hall, who, in 1828, rebuilt the ancient manor house called Rigmaden. It is now a splendid mansion, standing upon a lofty eminence, which rises rapidly from the west side of the Lune, and commands a fine view of the vale. The tenants pay 15d. fines.

MIDDLETON township and chapelry is bounded on the west by the river Lune, on the north west by the Rother,12 which divides it from Yorkshire, and here falls into the Lune, and on the south by the township of Barbon. It contains a number of detached houses, and the small hamlet of Middleton Head, seven miles N. by E. of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and three and a half miles S.W. of Sedbergh.

The chapel, dedicated to the Holy Ghost, was rebuilt in 1813, on the site of the old fabric, which was erected in 1634, on a piece of land given for that purpose by Dr. Bainbridge, who also gave 40s. towards its erection, a considerable sum in those days. In 1635, it was consecrated, and in 1671, made parochial, and in 1712 the burial ground was enlarged by land given by Giles Moore. The present edifice is a plain humble building, capable of seating about 120 hearers.

The curacy is in the gift of the vicar of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and now in the incumbency of the Rev. John Abbott. It is endowed with two small estates in Middleton, and one in Garside, purchased with 106 ancient chapel stock; 600 of Queen Anne's Bounty, given in 1750, 1756, and 1791; 100 left by Dr. Stratford, in 1756; 100 left by Mrs. Pyncombe; and 100 given by a late curate. Near the chapel is a small School, with a trifling endowment.

The manor was held by a family of its own name, for ten generations, one of whom, John Middleton, Esq., enfranchised the tenants in the reign of James I, so that it is now held of the Earl of Lonsdale, as lessee of the great Barony of Kendal, by the payment of a small quit-rent.

Middleton Hall, once the residence of the Middletons, was a large castellated building. The portion of it still habitable is occupied by a farmer. It had a deer park, which was destroyed during the civil wars, in which this family of the Middletons were great sufferers, and sold part of the demesne to a Benjamin Middleton, (but no relation of the family) who sold it to Dr. Adam Askew, of Newcastle, whose descendant was recently a barrister in that town. It now belongs to Wm. Moore, Esq., of Grimeshill, who purchased it a few years ago, of the Rev. Mr. Askew, rector of Greystoke, Cumberland. Hawkin Hall, also the property of Wm. Moore, Esq., was built by Dr. Bainbridge, Master of Christ's College, in the reign of Charles I. It is now occupied by a farmer, as also is Beckside, in which was born Sir John Otway, an eminent counsellor during the civil wars. The place called Abbey, belonged to Cockersand Abbey, in Lancashire, having been given to it by Edmund de Neville, Knight. Of Giles Moore, of Grimeshill, ancestor to the present proprietor, Burn says that, "by the mere force of genius and application, without the help of a University education, he became profoundly learned, not only in the history and antiquities of our own country, but in the ancient Grecian and Roman literature, and was even critically skilled in the Hebrew language." The other principal land owners are Lady le Flowing, and Mrs. E. Upton. The rateable value in 3513.


Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851




1. This is as written, but its meaning is unclear.
2. Usually referred to as the Devil's Bridge, Pevsner describes it as being of 15th century date.
3. Now Terrybank Tarn.
4. A mark was two-thirds of a pound, or 13s. 4d.
5. Now Tearnside.
6. Not to be confused with the village and township of the same name in Greystoke parish, in Cumberland.
7. There are also three Newbiggins in Cumberland, in Croglin, Dacre, and Waberthwaite parishes.
8. A noble was one third of a pound, or 6s. 8d.
9. I would be interested to learn more of this Charteris.
10. Killington is the name of the hamlet today.
11. None of these place names appear on a modern map, although there is a hamlet called Lupton.
12. Now the River Rawthey.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman