Scaleby Parish

  Is bounded by the parishes of Walton, Kirklinton, Stanwix, and Irthington, being about 5 miles long and 2 broad. On the south side of the parish is an extensive level tract of meadow land, producing good crops of hay; and on the east side of it are arable lands with a strong and deep loamy soil. On the north end of the parish the land is barren, and large quantities of peat are cut and sent to Carlisle and other places for sale. At the depth of 9 feet in this peat moss has been found the skeleton of an ancient Briton, enclosed in the skin of some wild animal, and carefully bound up with thongs of tanned leather. It is conjectured that the body must have lain in the moss since the invasion of Julius Csar, and from the possition in which the skeleton was found - grasping a stick about 3 feet long and 12 inches in circumference - it is supposed he must have perished accidentally on the spot1. The remains are now in the possession of the rector and Dr. Graham of Netherhouse. The parish contains 3464 rateable acres, rated at 3842 13s. 4d, and the largest landowners are R. E. W. P. Standish, Esq., Sir W. Brisco, Bart., and the Misses Lowry, but here are also several freeholders, each of whom is lord of the manor of his own estate. It is divided into the two townships of East Scaleby and West Scaleby, the former of which contains 230, and the latter 354 inhabitants.

scaleby.jpg (43850 bytes)Scaleby village is situated in the West township, 6 miles N.N.E. of Carlisle. The Church, dedicated to All Saints, consists of a nave and strong tower, and was re-stalled and thoroughly repaired in 1827, at a cost of about 80. "The bishop of Carlisle had the advowson by purchase from the Tilliols which was confirmed by fine in the 21st of Edward I, and had been an appendage to the See ever since."* The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 7 12s. 1d., but was augmented about 1817, with 652, obtained from queen Anne's bounty, the interest of which, together a 107 per annum., and is enjoyed by the Rev. John Hill. The tithes have been commuted for a rent charge of 31. 17s.8d. Near the church is a neat school, built in 1845, at a cost of 150, raised by subscription, and a government grant. It is endowed with the interest of 40, bequeathed in 1773, by Mr. Joseph Jackson, and now vested in the churchwardens, It also receives 10s. a year from a piece of land which has been appropriated for that purpose. Scaleby Castle is very ancient, and has been possessed by many influential families. The manor was granted by Henry I to the Tilliols, who held it for several generations. It subsequently passed to the Colvills, Musgraves, and Gilpins, and was sold by the latter to Governor Stephenson. It is now the property of Edward Stephenson, Esq., but the castle, which was partly rebuilt in 1837 is the residence of James Fawcett, Esq. The Rev. William Gilpin, who died in 1804, aged 80, was born here; he was a prebendary of Salisbury, and author of several interesting works, among which is a very ingenious tour to the lakes.

The hamlets of Bar Close, 6 miles N.E by N.; Lang Park, 5 miles N.N.E.; and Stone-know2, 5 miles N.N.E. of Carlisle, are in this parish, which is said to have derived its name "from the first buildings there which they call Scheales, or Skales, more properly, from the Latin word Scalinga, a cabin or cottage." Scaleby Hall, the seat of Henry Farrer, Esq., is situated in East township, which contains 1593 acres, rated at 1283 10s.

* Hutchinson


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




1. It's unlikely that the body from the peat bog met an accidental end - the discovery of numerous bodies preserved in peat from across Europe, many dating to the immediate pre-Roman period, appear to have been sacrificial victims. The most recent (as far as I'm aware), was Lindow Man, discovered in Cheshire a few years ago.
2. Bar Close, Lang Park and Stone-know are now Barclose, Longpark, and Stoneknowe respectively.

A short biography of the Gilpin family, and of Miss Catherine Gilpin, in particular, is available here.

Photo Steve Bulman.

30 April 2008

Steve Bulman