Lazonby Parish

  > lazonby3.jpg (30794 bytes)Contains the two townships of Lazonby and Plumpton Wall, and extends about five miles in length from N. to S., and three in breadth from E. to W. It is bounded on the S. by Great Salkeld, on the S.W. by Penrith and Hutton, on the N. and W. by Hesket, and on the E. and N.E. by the river Eden. The west side of the parish is washed by the Petteril, and in its centre is a range of healthy moorlands and fells, the northern part of which is covered by a large forest of oaks, &c. called Baron Wood, and belongs to Sir George Musgrave, Bart. The arable land lies in the vale of the Eden and Petteril, and near the great road from Carlisle to Penrith. The soil in some parts is composed of a rich loam, and in other parts it is of a gravelly nature; and here is an excellent free stone quarry, and another where barley mill stones are made. The parish contains 9600 acres, and 891 inhabitants. Besides the great Roman road, which extended from north to south, another intersects the parish at Salkeld gate; and in Plumpton Wall township is the station of Old Penrith, about five miles north-west of the town of Penrith. This is the Bremetenracum1 of the Romans, and had a military way, twenty-one feet broad, leading from it to the wall. The site of this station comprised an area of about three acres, and traces of its foundations and outbuildings are still observable. The Cuneus Armaturarum, a troop of horse armed in the most complete manner, was in garrison here. Several urns, containing bones and ashes, were found about seventy years ago upon the fell; and Hutchinson says there were several cairns on the commons, and that at a place called Castle Rigg, were the ruins of a building, moated round. In Baron Wood, there is a large rock, in which is a cave, apparently artificial, called the Giant's Chamber, and sometimes Sampson's Cave. The commons were enclosed under the act of 1803, for the enclosing of Inglewood Forest; and the principal land owners of the parish are Sir George Musgrave, Bart., and colonel M'Lean.

lazonby2.jpg (22076 bytes)Lazonby village is on the west side of the vale of Eden, one mile S.W. of Kirkoswald, and seven miles N. by E. of Penrith. The Church, which is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, was given in 1272, by Sir Hugh Morvill, to the priory of Lanercost. At the dissolution of the priory, the rectory was granted by Edward VI, or rather his responsible advisers, to Sir Thomas Dacre, Knight, whose descendant sold it to John Barwick, dean of St. Paul's, who bequeathed it to the chapel and poor of Witherslack, in Westmorland, reserving only 2 a year for the vicar of Lazonby. The Vicarage is valued in the king's books at 13 1s. 2d. The bishop of Carlisle is the patron, and the Revd. John Heysham is the incumbent. The tithes of Lazonby township have been commuted for a yearly modus of 455, viz., rectorial, 208, and vicarial, 247; and of Plumpton Wall township, for 327, viz., rectorial, 120, and vicarial, 207. The glebe lands let for about 80 a year, and the living has been returned as worth 551 per annum. The church stands on an elevation near the village, and is an ancient looking edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a bell turret at the west end. and having the east gable surmounted by a beautiful cross. On the south side of the chancel is a piscina, and on the east side of it a square almery; but the whole building has been much modernized in its appearance, and the walls plastered and whitewashed. In the church yard are three venerable fig trees, and a square chamfer edged shaft with a cross.

The manor of Lazonby lies within the forest of Inglewood, and belonged at a very early period to the Stutvilles, from whom it passed by successive heiresses to the Morvills, Multons, and Dacres. On the attainder of Leonard Dacre, in the reign of Elizabeth, the crown seized this manor, but it was recovered in 1657, by Francis, lord Dacre, of the south, and was sold in 1716, by the co-heiresses of Thomas Lennard, earl of Sussex, to Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bart., ancestor of its present lord, Sir George Musgrave, Bart., of Edenhall. There is also within Lazonby township, a small mense manor, belonging to Timothy Featherstonhaugh, Esq.

Plumpton Wall is a township and chapelry, containing the hamlets of Salkeld Gate and Brockley Moor2, with several dispersed dwellings, extending from four to five miles N. of Penrith. "The manor was anciently called Plumpton Park, and was a demesne of the crown, held by 'Jack Musgrave, captain of Bewcastle,' who planted five of his sons here. The earl of Annandale, after making the tenants pay 800 for a ratification of their customary tenure, obtained from Charles I a grant of the manor in fee, to be held by fealty in free and common soccage. In 1653 it was sold by James, earl of Annandale, for 3000 to Mrs. Eleanor Lowther from whom it descended to the present earl of Lonsdale."

Salkeld Gate is a hamlet in Plumpton Wall township, 4 miles N. by W. of Penrith. The Chapel of Ease, which is in this hamlet was rebuilt in 1767, at an expense of 200 defrayed by contributions. Mr. Jno. Brown, of Plumpton, endowed it with 200, with which, and a sum of money obtained from queen Anne's bounty, an estate was purchased at Castle Sowerby, for the support of the minister. It is dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist; and the living which is worth only 44 a year, is in the gift of the chancellor of the diocese of Carlisle; and the Revd. J. B. Harrison is the perpetual curate. Salkeld Gate School is endowed with 5 a year, arising from 100 bequeathed by John Scott, of Hallrigg, in 1759.


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




1. Modern scholarship ascribes the name "Voreda" to Old Penrith. The remains are still prominent.
2. Brockley Moor is now Brockleymoor.

Lazonby Parish Council has a website, and links from there to (among others) Lazonby History Society and St. Nicholas Church pages.

Photo Steve Bulman.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman