Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1926.
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SKELSMERGH AND PATTON.
1281 Final Concord made in 9 Edward 1 (18 November, 1281) between Nicholas de Leyburne and Margery his wife, plaintiffs, and John de la Chaumbre and Sybil his wife, deforciants—one messuage, 21 acres of land, 2½ acres of meadow, with appurtenances in Skelmeressergh in Strickland Ketel. The deforciants quitclaim the premises to the plaintiffs rendering one rose yearly at the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist for all services, etc., and for this recognisance warranty, etc. Nicholas and Margery gave to the said John and Sybil thirteen merks of silver. Feet of Fines of Westmorland, 1–35 Edw. 1; Public Rec. Off., case 249, file 5, n. 11. Chambre Deeds, County Muniment Room.
1673 October. Upon the petition of the school master and the eight poor widows now remaining in the house of Manufacture in Kendall founded by Mr. Thomas Sandes, wherein they pray relief against the inhabitants of Skelsmergh and Patton touching the messuage or tenement in Skelsmergh called Eidge Bank, formerly of the rent of thirty-one shillings, out of the issues and profits whereof and of another tenement in Strickland Roger (Baxton Holme) they had their allowances, affirming there was a great surplusage of rent, etc. It is therefore ordered by the Court that the said tenement called Eidge Bank hereafter shall be freed and discharged of all assessments and the inhabitants of Skelsmergh and Patton be charged and bear the same unless at the next sessions they do make it appear that there is not such surplusage or concealed rent or at least that there is not so much surplusage as the rent with which the said tenement was anciently charged. K. Order Book, 1669–96.
1678 15 December. Upon an Order to search for arms among the Popish Recusants, Mr. John Browham, High-constable of Kendal Ward reported that the arms taken from Anthony Garnet of Skelsmergh included a backsword, a rapier and a case of pistolls, one wanting a lock; and from widow Palat (Platt) in Skelsmergh an old musket and a dagger. Hist. MSS. Com., 12th Rep. 151.
1696 24 April. The following, being suspected persons, have neglected or refused to make and subscribe the Declaration and take the oaths: Rob. Stephenson, Peter Winder, Anthony Garnett, Jas. Garnett, Jas. Thornbarrow, Jas. Mount, Will. Morley, Tho. Gilpin, Edw. Holme, Geo. Holme, in Skelsmergh and Patton. K. Indictment Book, 1692–1724.
1701 2 May. Order that Skelsmergh and Patton, which were formerly joined in their assessment to the poor, be severed. On appeal this order was revoked on 3 May the day following. K. Order Book, 1696–1724.
1702 9 October. A presentment of the grand jury having been found last sessions that Patton Bridge is a public bridge, order that Mr. Will. Johnson, high constable, take to his assistance Will. Hodgion of Skelsmergh and Peter Whitehead of K. Kendall to view the bridge and contract with workmen for its repair and report the charges when finished. K. Order Book, 1696–1724.
1711/12 18 January. Henry Pearson of Skelsmergh, yeo., indicted for setting up a hedge in the highway, at Skelsmergh, leading from Patton Bridge to Laverock Bridge, 10 perches in length and four perches in breadth, by reason whereof the said highway is lessened to the prejudice of the inhabitants of Skelsmergh; fined 2d. K. Indictment Book, 1692–1724.
1715 Dorothy Garnett, a Nonjuror, and her three daughters, Mary, Agnes and Anne as coheirs of James Garnett, decd, owned a house called "Garnetfolds" at Skelsmergh, valued at £1 5s. Oliver Platt of Skelsmergh, yeoman, owned a house. Jane Thornburgh, widow of Rowland Thornburgh of Skelsmergh owned a jointure annuity valued at £40. Robert Stephenson of Dodding Green owned an estate valued at £116 18s. 7d. And Dorothy Morley, widow of William Morley owned a house called "Millhouse" at Patton, and two closes for life of her mother Agnes Holme. English Catholic Nonjurors of 1715.
1724/5 15 January. Presentment upon the information of Benj. Browne, high constable of K. Ward, and others, that Gurnell Bridge over the river (Sprint) between Strickland and Skelsmergh, formerly a wood bridge for horses to pass and lately fallen down and formerly repaired by Strickland Roger and Ketel and Skelsmergh and Patton, and it appearing to this Court that the river or ford there is very dangerous for travellers and that frequently they cannot pass without great danger of their lives and that sometimes it is impossible to cross; order to the inhabitants of those four places, before 10 days after Easter (i.e. 7 April) to cause to be built a good stone bridge for man and horse in the same place or as near as may be where the wood bridge lately was. K. Order Book, 1696–1724.
1726 7 October. Order to the high constable to view Laverock Bridge and the highways adjoining. (K. Order Book, 1725–1737). On 5 September, 1727, William Newby received £3 10s. for the repair of this bridge and the highway on the lower Scalthwaiterigg side about 13 yards in length. Browne MSS., vol. ii, n. 126.
1738 12 January. Presentment that Joseph Sisson of K. Kendall on the 1st July (12 George 11) with force and arms did pull down part of the county bridge called Laverock Bridge over the river Mint and did throw part of the said bridge into the river to the great damage and common nuisance of the king's subjects passing on that way; fined 6d. K. Indictment Book, 1738–50.
1741 9 October. Mint Bridge lying in the road between Kendal and Shap is a public bridge and is very much out of repair; order to the two high constables to view and report and that they make an estimate of the money the reparation will cost. (K. Order Book, 1738–50). On 15 January following an Order was issued to contract for the above reparation. Ibid.
1748/9.13 January. Presentment that from time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary there was and yet is a certain common and ancient highway leading between the market towns of Shap and K. Kendale, and that a certain portion of the said highway i.e. two miles in length and three yards in breadth beginning at Skelsmergh Fell Gate and ending at Mints Bridge End, is very ruinous, miry, deep broken and in such decay for want of due reparation, so that the liege subjects of our lord the King could not pass or repass without great danger of their lives and the loss of their goods, and that the inhabitants of Skelsmergh ought to repair when and so often as it shall be necessary. (K. Indictment Book, 1738–50). The order was discharged on 12 January, 1750. Ibid.
1756 30 April. Presentment that there was and yet is a certain common and ancient highway leading from the market town of K. Kendale to the township of Whinfield, etc., and that a certain part of the same King's highway beginning at Laverock Bridge and ending at a place called Ipshow Sike, containing in length half a mile and in breadth eight feet was and yet is very ruinous, etc., and that the inhabitants of the township of Skelsmergh ought to repair the same. (K. Indictment Book, 1750–60). On 13 July, 1756, the indictment was discharged on a certificate that the way was now in repair. Ibid.
1756 30 April. Presentment that Laverick Bridge is one of the public bridges and is in great decay and ought to be repaired at the public expense of the county. (Ibid.). Ordered that the two high constables view the bridge and report at the next sessions. (Ibid.). On 18 September following, an Order was issued that the two high constables do forthwith contract with some able and experienced workmen for the effectual repair of Laverick Bridge, at as low a rate as possible. (K. Order Book, 1750–60). On 8 January, 1759, the indictment was discharged on a certificate that the bridge was then in a good and sufficient repair. Ibid.
1773 19 April. Presentment that John Airey, yeo., with force and arms at Skelsmergh in and upon the King's highway in a certain place called Old Earth Lane, leading from the town of K. Kendale to the town of Shap, erected and built a stone fence and then and there enclosed, incroached upon and stopped up within the said wall a certain part of the King's highway, containing in length 100 yards and in breadth 3 yards, by reason whereof the King's highway is greatly straightened to the great damage and common nuisance of all the liege subjects, etc. K. Indict. Book, 1770–80.
1774 12 July. Presentment that there was and yet is a certain common and ancient highway leading from Whinfell to the market town of K. Kendale, and that a certain part of the same beginning at Hepshow Beck being in length 1100 yards and ending where the county road begins at the north east corner of Laverock Bridge, is very ruinous, etc., and that the inhabitants of Skelsmergh ought to repair the same. (Ibid.). In the margin a fine of £50 in case the same be not repaired before next Sessions. Certified as in good and sufficient repair on 2 October, 1775. Ibid.
1776 8 January. Presentment that the 300 feet of the highway at the south west end of Patton Bridge leading from the market town of Appleby towards the market town of K. Kendale, is in great decay, broken and ruinous, etc., and that the inhabitants of the county ought to repair the same. K. Indict. Book, 1770–80.
1784 12 January. Presentment that Lavrick Bridge is a public bridge and that the 300 feet of the road at the south end leading to K. Kendale and also the 300 feet leading from the said south end to the town of Appleby is in great decay and ought to be repaired at the public expense of the county. (K. Indictment Book, 1780–87). Certified in good and sufficient repair on 13 July, 1784. (Ibid.) And yet on 10 January in the following year (1785) the bridge and the approaches were again indicted. Ibid.
1821 9 July. Presentment that a certain common King's highway leading from Patton Bridge towards and unto the turnpike road leading from K. Kendal to Shap, and that a certain part of the same beginning at Patton Bridge and so towards the brook which divides the townships of Patton and Whitwell, of the length of 620 yards and being of the breadth of eight feet, is very ruinous, etc., and that the inhabitants of Patton ought to repair the same. K. Indictment Book, 1817–24.
1827 23 April. Presentment that Laverick Bridge in the King's highway leading from Kendal unto the township of Patton, is very ruinous, etc., and that the inhabitants of the county ought to amend the same. (K. Indict. Book, 1824–34). On 14 July following it was ordered that Mr. Braithwaite, the Bridge Master, do forthwith advertise for letting the repairs. K. Minute Book, 1825–38.
1868 22 October. The County Surveyor reported that Laverock Bridge from time to time has been patched and bolted together and such precautions taken as seemed desirable to make it temporarily safe, but should the iron bolts give way the bridge would to a certainty come down. (K. Minute Book, 1859–75). It is a composite bridge consisting of an ancient pack-horse bridge, measuring 5 ft. 4 inches over all and that could have been only some 3 ft 4 inches between the parapet walls, and an addition on the low side. The double bridge now measures 15 ft. 8 inches overall or 13 ft. 8 inches between the parapets. Each section has one segmented arch spanning 15 yards across the Mint.
1907 13 April. A Committee of the County Council viewed Mint Bridge and found that owing to the bridge being at right angles to the road and the consequent very sharp curve at the southern approach, and the height of the west parapet, it was quite impossible to see the traffic coming over the bridge. They recommended iron railings in lieu of the western parapet, and the acquiring of some 1000 yards of land from the Spittle estate, starting 120 yards away from the bridge, curving to a depth of 12 yards in the centre and running out again at the bridge end. On 13 November following the iron railings on the bridge were reported as completed at a cost of £82 4s. 5d. (C.C. Minutes, 1907–8). On 14 August, 1908, the Parish Council asked that the east side of the bridge might be treated in the same way, which was agreed to. (C.C. Minutes, 1908–9). On 11 May, 1910, it was reported that the alteration in the railing to provide rest or refuge places for foot passengers would be proceeded with. C.C. Minutes, 1910–11.
1920 13 August. The County Surveyor having been asked to prepare an estimate of the cost of strengthening Laverock Bridge and improving the approaches, submitted an estimate of £923. Resolved that nothing further be done at present beyond having the bolts examined. C.C. Minutes, 1920–21.