|>||Extends about 3 miles along the coast, and about 2½
miles inland, being bounded on the south by Whicham, on the east by the mountain of Black
Comb, on the north by Bootle, and on the west by the Irish sea. The soil towards the sea
is rather sandy, inclining to a clay, and towards Black Comb, gravelly, and the surface of
the parish is uneven and irregular. From the peculiar nature of the sand near Newton,
ducks die here in a few months. A vein of peat moss, containing in some places, nearly
one-fifth of the breadth of the parish, runs longitudinally through the middle of the
greatest part of the land, dividing the soil into two kinds. The sea has made considerable
encroachments in many parts of this parish, old roads and. hedges being visible some
distance beyond low water mark. A medicinal spring near the sea shore was formerly much
frequented, and was said to be "a sovereign remedy for the scurvy and gravel."
Large trunks of oak and fir trees have been found in the peat moss, and about the middle
of the last century a tree was dug up, whose trunk was about seven yards long and two in
diameter. Nuts and acorns have been also found at a great depth; and in the parish are
many curiosities well worthy of the traveller's attention. On Black Comb is a capacious
cavity, supposed to be that of a crater, several hundred yards in depth and diameter,
having at the bottom a spring of clear water, and round its margin a profusion of
vitrified matter; and on this mountain is a fine cascade. About one mile from Bootle, on
the Barfield estate, is a small lake, or tarn, 600 yards in circumference, abounding with
perch and trout -, and in a tarn near Gutterby, are great quantities of leeches. Around
here, and in the neighbouring morasses, ignes fatui, vulgularly called Will oth'
Wisp, are frequently seen in the evenings, At Hall Foss, are the remains of a Druidical
Temple, called Standing Stones, which formed a circle of twenty-five feet in
diameter. Near to Annaside is another circular monument, consisting of twelve large
stones; and on the Moorgreen farm are thirty stones, designated Kirkstones, similar
in position to those of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. A large cairn of stones, about
fifteen yards diameter, may be seen about two hundred yards from this Druidical monument.
It is stated in Hutchinson's Cumberland, that "when the wind blows from the east over
Black Comb, the inhabitants of the houses which stand close under its base, find it most
violent; when the wind blows from the sea, the most temperate. In Whicham, behind the
mountain it is quite the reverse ; so that whenever it is calm in one parish it is stormy
in the other, when it blows from the east or west." The number of rateable acres in
the parish is about 2000, rated at £1616 10s. 2d., and the principal land owners are the
earl of Lonsdale, Miss Eliz. Lewthwaite, and Mr. William Williamson, together with a few
other residents. The population of the parish in 1841, was 208.
Newton is a small hamlet on the Broughton road,
about 2½ miles south of Bootle. The Church, which stands here, is dedicated to
Saint Mary, and is an ancient edifice, but much modernized by the insertion of sash
windows. It consists of a nave and chancel, with a bell gable at its western end carrying
two belle. It has been "curtailed of its fair proportions," and a monumental
effigy, said to be of one of the lords of Whitbeck, is now exposed to the weather. The
church having been given to the priory of Conishead, by Gamel de Pennington, is now only a
perpetual curacy, in the patronage and impropriation of the earl of Lonsdale. It was
certified to the governors of queen Anne's bounty at £9 14s. 8d., and in 1835, was
returned as of the annual value of £70. The tithes have been commuted at a yearly rent
charge of £60. The benefice was augmented in 1747, with £200 from queen Anne's bounty,
and £250 given by the patron and impropriator, being the produce of the sale of a portion
of the tithes. About the year 1760, it received a further grant of £200, and in 1785
another £200 from queen Anne's bounty, and a further augmentation of £200, with which a
house and land were purchased, now occupied by the minister.
Half the tithes were purchased by the late earl, of
Charles Parke, Esq., in 1807; and the other moiety has been for a length of time sold to
the land owners.
Annaside is a hamlet near the sea, 1½ mile S.W. of
Charities - The Hospital was built by the parishioners, and endowed in 1632, by Mr. Hen. Parke, of Kendal, mercer, (a native of the parish) with £400, the interest to be distributed to six poor people. In 1722 it was certified that an hospital was built, and that the money left by Mr. Parke had been vested in lands which yielded £24 per annum. It is now the asylum of three poor parishioners, who each receive £8 a year. In 1722 there was a poor stock of £30 belonging to this parish; and the following benefactions are entered in the register:- In 1580, John Kitchen gave 20 marks, half the interest thereof to be applied to the poor, and the other half to the church. In 1617, Lawrence Parke gave £10 for the like purpose. In 1634, Arthur Myers gave £10 for the use of the schoolmaster; in 1674 Henry Robinson gave £5 for the same purpose. In 1735, Agnes Walker gave £10 for the use of the poor, and in 1737, H. Parke gave the interest of £6 for the like purpose. Henry Parke and John Huddleston gave a donation for the poor on their entering into the hospital.
Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman