Saint Mary's Parish - Out Townships

  > Of the nine townships in this parish, six of the most populous are included in the city and suburbs of Carlisle. The cathedral, which gives name to the parish, is in Abbey-street township, and the new church or chapel of ease, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is in Caldew-gate1 township. The dean and chapter's manor of John de Chapple, extends over a great part of the parish; and Hutchinson gives an account of the manor of Caldcoates, alias Harrington House, afterwards called Coldale Hall, which belonged successively to the families of Canterelle, Semen, Coldale, Briscoe, Sibson, Dacre, and Forster, but is now part of the manor of John de Chapple, which also includes the ancient mansion of Newbiggin, New Laithes, and Botcher-gate. The bishop's manor of Low Dalston reaches into this parish, within which was anciently a manor of Shaddon-gate, given by Henry I to one Morvin, whose son, Harvey, gave it in marriage with his daughter. It was afterwards possessed by the Dentons, whose demesne, called Denton's Holme2, was purchased about the close of the seventeenth century, by Mr. Norman.

The lands in Shaddon-gate are now held under the bishop and the dean and chapter. The Soccage manor of Carlisle comprehends the whole of Scotch-street township, and extends over 500 acres of land in the neighbourhood. This was demised by queen Elizabeth to Henry, lord Scrope, lord warden of the marches; and next to George Clifford, earl of Cumberland. The lease was afterwards, for several generations, vested in the noble family of Howard, earls of Carlisle, but the duke of Portland having succeeded in his claim to this manor, as part of the Forest of Inglewood, it was included in the duke of Devonshire's3 purchase, in 1787.

The three townships in this parish, not included in the city and suburbs of Carlisle, are as follows :-

Cummersdale, or Cumbersdale, has a small village, near the Caldew, two miles S.W. of Carlisle, several neat villas and farm houses, dispersed over the township, and contains about 500 souls, and 1900 acres of land, mostly the property of J. Dalton, G. Gale, J. Studholme, J. Maud, W. Blamire, L. Bunting, J. Brown, T. Barnes, Esqrs., and colonel Sowerby. Here are extensive calico print works, and cotton and corn mills; and in the hamlet of Holme Head, which is partly in this, but mostly in Caldew-gate township, are the extensive dying and bleaching establishments of Ferguson Brothers, to whom great praise is due for having established a school here for the education of the children of the operatives.

Middlesceugh and Braithwaite are two hamlets forming a joint township in Leath Ward, being detached from the rest of the parish in Cumberland Ward, and situate between Hesket-in-the Forest and Sebergham, at a distance of from nine to ten miles S. of Carlisle. The manor of Middlesceugh belongs to Sir Henry Ralph Vane, Bart., and that of Braithwaite to lord Brougham, who, with Mrs. Wilson, of Thistlewood, are the largest proprietors in the township, which contains 1971 acres, of the rateable value of 1553 5s. The inhabitants support their own poor, and being remote from the parish church, attend Ivegill chapel, and marry and bury at Hesket-in-the-Forest.

Wreay4 township and chapelry, lies on the west side of the river Petteril, and contains the small hamlets of High Wreay and Foulbridge, with several scattered farm houses, about 200 inhabitants, and 1060 acres of land, more than half of which is the property of Miss Losh, and the rest belongs to Messrs. J. Scott, J.P. Fletcher, C. Graham, and W. Carrick; but the dean and chapter of Carlisle are lords of the manor, and patrons of the curacy. Wreay village occupies a pleasant situation, five miles S. by E. of Carlisle, at the southern extremity of Cumberland Ward, with the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway a little to the east. Hutchinson says the antiquity of the "chapelry of Wrea" can only be traced as far back as the reign of Edward II. Bishop Halton, in 1319, allowed a chaplain here, provided he resided within his chapelry. In 1739 the old chapel was consecrated by bishop Fleming, and the curate's salary was made "worth 20 a year, with a good house." It is now, however, worth 75 a year, and is possessed by the Rev. Richard Jackson, M.A., who in 1846 erected a neat parsonage house in the Elizabethan style, on the site of the old one. The Chapel of Ease was entirely rebuilt inwreay_church.jpg (61595 bytes) 1843, at an expense of about 1200, the whole of which, except a small donation from the dean and chapter, and the contributions of a few friends, was sustained by that truly benevolent lady, Miss Losh. It is in the Norman style of architecture, and its arched doorway at the west end is much admired, being ornamented with flowers of the water lily, &c. The turret is crowned by a Roman eagle, and a little lower down the gable, in two niches, are figures of Sts. Peter and Paul. All the windows are of stained glass, and the three in the west end are richly executed. The interior is very neat, and is ornamented with numerous figures of angels, birds, &c. especially about the communion table, which is supported by an eagle, carved in brass; and two eagles, richly carved in wood, support the bible and prayer book.

The chancel, which is of a semi-circular form, is very beautiful, and its windows are cut to represent antediluvian flowers. Here are seven lamps, apparently lighted, intended to represent the seven spirits mentioned in the book of revelations. The oaken roof of the chapel is also beautifully carved, and was furnished from the well-wooded lawn of Woodside, the seat of Miss Losh, whose prolific mind, furnished the various devices for this splendid little edifice, which is fitted up in the style of some of the Italian churches.

In the church yard, adjoining the chapel, is a chaste piece of sculpture, from the chisel of Dunbar, in white polished marble - the figure of the late Miss Catherine Losh - for which a cell in the Druidical fashion has been built. A few yards from this cell, stands a stone cross, eighteen feet high, with a Latin inscription to the memory of the late John Losh, Esq., and his wife - a copy of one in Bewcastle church yard. Miss Losh, seeing the crowded state of the burial ground at Carlisle, had a piece of ground dedicated as a public cemetery, the oratory in which is an exact model of Perranzabulo5. She also erected a good house, and conveyed it to trustees, for the use of the sexton.

A school was built here by subscription, about the year 1760, and endowed in 1763, by John Brown, Esq.,of Woodside, with 200, part of which was laid out in the purchase of 10A. 1R. 8P. of land, which, with some ancient school stock, now produces 17 10s. a year. Richard Lowthian gave 50 to the minister and twelve men of Wreay, to be distributed or otherwise invested, as they should think proper. The legacy was received in 1786, and is in the hands of the family of Losh, by whom the interest is regularly paid. In 1830 Miss Losh built a new school, near the site of the old one, and endowed it with thirty acres of pasture land, which now lets for about 10 a year. This sum is applied for the education of the poor children in the adjoining townships. The acting trustees are Messrs. John Robinson, of Scalesceugh, and Thomas Slack, of Intack. The masters' house, erected by the same lady, is on the model of one discovered in the ruins of Pompeii.

A girls school was also built here a few years ago, by the Misses Losh, which is free for the children of the chapelry. The late Miss Margaret Losh, aunt of the present lady, bequeathed 50 to each of the above schools: the principal is invested in the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. Messrs. Robinson and Slack, with the incumbent, are trustees for this also. The commissioners' report of charities states that "2 5s. is given away at Candlemas to three or four poor persons not receiving relief."


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




1. Caldew-gate is now Caldewgate. Trinity church was demolished in 1982.
2. Denton's Holme is now Denton Holme, a populous Carlisle suburb, and Botcher-gate and Shaddon-gate are now Botchergate and Shaddongate respectively.
3. The Duke of Devonshire's involvement with the city is commemorated in e.g. the name of Devonshire Walk, just below the castle.
4. Wreay, is pronounced as "rear".
5. Perranzabulo, or Perranzabuloe as it is now, is in Cornwall. Pevsner says that an "early sanctuary to St Perran …… found in 1835" forms the model for the oratory.

The "Twelve Men of Wreay" was a sort of village parliament, with certain rights and duties. It was still in existence in 1901, but I don't know if it still survives. For more on this subject, see Sports and Festivities, including the notes to that article.

On a personal note, my 4-greats grandfather, Christopher Bulman, worked as a gardener for Miss Losh. Family tradition also has it that some of the carving in the church was done by either Christopher, or one of his close relatives.

The photo is Steve Bulman.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman