An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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76 ORTON (E.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXI, S.E., (b)XXII, S.W., (c)XXVIII, N.E., (d)XXIX, N.W., (e)XXIX, S.W.)
Orton is a parish and village 10 m. W. of Kirkby Stephen. The church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of All Saints (Plate 9) stands at the N. end of the village. The walls are of limestone and sandstone rubble with dressings of sandstone; the roofs are covered with lead and slates. The early 13th-century S.E. arch of the Nave, with the adjoining S. respond of a former arch across the nave, formed part of the crossing of a cruciform church perhaps with a central tower; earlier bases below the S. arcade may indicate that there was a S. aisle at this period. Late in the 15th or early in the 16th century an extensive rebuilding took place; the crossing was removed, the N. arcade and North Aisle were built and the West Tower added; shortly after the W. bays of the S. arcade were built and the South Aisle added or re-built. The South Porch was added in 1607. The church was restored in 1877 when the Chancel was re-built and the Vestry and Organ Chamber were added.
Architectural Description—The Nave (61½ ft. by 18 ft.) has a late 15th or early 16th-century N. arcade with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases; the arcade seems to have been built in two sections, the two western bays being the earlier. The S. arcade consists of one early 13th-century arch and two early 16th-century arches to the W.; the 13th-century arch formed the S. side of the former crossing; it is two-centred and of three chamfered orders; the responds have each three grouped shafts, the middle one keeled and all having moulded capitals and bases; the S.E. capital has remains of crude figure-carving; immediately W. of this arch is the lower part of a similar respond of the former W. arch of the crossing; the central shaft and the upper part have been cut back but the springing of the arch remains. The two western bays have two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, springing from an octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals; the pier and responds rest on what appear to be earlier bases.
The North Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has three windows in the N. wall; the easternmost is modern except for the early 16th-century jambs and sill; the others are modern. In the W. wall is a modern doorway.
The South Aisle (15 ft. wide) was built early in the 16th century. In the E. wall is a re-set late 14th or early 15th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are two windows each of three elliptical-headed lights in a square head with a moulded label; the partly restored S. doorway has moulded jambs and segmental-pointed arch. In the W. wall is a re-set window of three uncusped lights with uncusped tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label.
The West Tower (15 ft. by 13 ft.) is of early 16th-century date and of three storeys with an embattled parapet. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders dying on to the responds; the W. window is similar to the S. windows of the S. aisle but has no label. The second storey has a doorway in the E. wall opening on to the nave roof. The bell chamber has, in each wall, a window of two square-headed lights; that on the S. is partly blocked.
The South Porch has the date 1607 on the apex-stone of the gable. The outer archway has moulded jambs and segmental arch.
Re-set in the modern vestry is an early 15th-century window of two ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the modern heating-chamber is an early 16th-century window of two elliptical-headed lights.
The Roof of the nave is of late 15th or early 16th-century date, low-pitched and of eleven bays with tie-beams; four trusses have, on the S. side, wall-posts and struts. The pent-roof of the N. aisle is of the same period and of eight bays. The early 16th-century low-pitched roof of the S. aisle is of eleven bays with tie-beams.
Fittings—Altar: In churchyard—S. of aisle, large slab chamfered on two edges, possibly altar-slab. Bells: In N. aisle (not hung)—three; 1st inscribed in capitals "Omniu~ Sanctoru~," cast at Nottingham, 15th-century; 2nd and 3rd dated 1637. Brackets: In S. aisle—on E. wall, shaped corbel, mediæval; farther S. moulded corbel with nail-head ornament, 13th-century, re-set. Chest: In S. aisle—dug-out (Plate 38) with chamfered lid, 6 ft. long, with three iron straps, mediæval. Churchyard Cross: S. of chancel— square to octagonal base-stone, mediæval. Coffin: In second stage of tower—stone coffin of child. Coffin-lids: In porch—on benches, (1) with simple cross-head and stem; (2) with sword and small cross; both probably late 13th-century. Communion Rails: In N. aisle— with turned balusters and moulded rail, late 17th or early 18th-century. Door: In porch—of battens with strap-hinges,probably 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl (Plate 44) with splayed underside, octagonal stem and chamfered base, on sides of bowl the initials and date D.W., M.O. 1662 and carved devices including a traceried window-head. Panelling: In vestry— panelling incorporated in modern work and including a panel with the initials and date I.C. (for John Corney, vicar) 1639. Incorporated in reading-desk, panel with text, 17th-century. Piscina: In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with moulded and trefoiled head, with nail-head ornament, multifoiled drain, early 13th-century re-set. Royal Arms: In S. aisle—over S. doorway, painted on framed boarding, of William III, with draped curtains and the date 1695.
d(2). Cockpit, about 30 yards E. of Raisgill Hall (21), is about 30 ft. in diameter, with a surrounding bank about 2½ ft. high.
d(3). Raisgill Hall Bridge, over the river Lune about 1¾ m. S.S.E. of the church, is a rubble structure of one span with a segmental arch. It was built perhaps in the 17th century and has been widened about 5 ft. on the E. side.
c(4). Greenholme or Scale Bridge, over Birk beck nearly 2¾ m. S.W. of the church, is a rubble structure of one span with a segmental arch. It was built probably in the 17th century.
c(5). Dorothy Bridge over Bretherdale beck ¼ m. S. of (4), is a rubble structure of one span with a segmental arch. It was built probably late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(6). Orton Old Hall or Petty Hall, now two tenements, 300 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built early in the 17th century and then belonged to the family of Birkbeck. It has been comparatively little altered. The E. front (Plate 20) retains its original two and three-light windows with stone mullions and labels; one of the labels has stops carved with the initials G.B. Above the doorway is a panel (Plate 30) with the initials and date G.B., M.B. 1604 and a label; a second doorway has a triangular arch in a square head. At the N. end is an addition of 1740. Some original windows remain at the back of the house. Inside the building many of the ceiling-beams are exposed. In the N. room is a wide fireplace with a segmental arch and there is a similar feature in the middle room. Over the fireplace in the S. room is a carved panel with an oval wreath enclosing the initials and date C. and M.P. 1689 and a heraldic device of a pair of compasses between three castles, presumably for the Masons' Company. On the first floor, one room has the remains of an original plaster frieze with pilasters and strapwork. There is also a fireplace with a triangular arch in a square head.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(7). Cottage, on the E. side of the road 230 yards S.E. of (6).
a(8). Cottage, 50 yards N.N.W. of (7), contains a two stage cupboard of the local type, with enriched upper panels, pendants and the initials and date I.E.S. 1690. In the S. room is an early 18th-century fireplace with a corbelled head.
a(9). Holes Farm, house 70 yards N.N.E. of (8) and 230 yards S.E. of the church.
a(10). Cottage, on the E. side of the road 250 yards E. of the church, has been refronted.
a(11). House, 90 yards N. of (10), contains a spicecupboard with the initials and date R.D. 1693 on the door.
a(12). House, at Bousfield 1,660 yards N.W. of the church, has a doorway with a triangular arch in a square head and above it the date 1694.
a(13). Range of two cottages 50 yards N.W. of (12). The S. cottage contains a cupboard of the local type with enriched upper panels, pendants and the initials and date T.F.I. 1692; there is also a spice-cupboard of the same period.
Condition—Of N. cottage, bad.
b(14). Scarside, house ¾ m. N.E. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century and contains a fireplace with a moulded surround and cornice.
b(15). Outbuilding, formerly house ½ m. S.E. of (14).
b(16). Street, house 950 yards E.S.E. of the church, has an 18th-century addition on the S.
b(17). House, N.E. of the road at Raisbeck, about 1½ m. E.S.E. of the church, was built early in the 18th century.
d(18). Cottage, 150 yards S. of (17), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
d(19). Gill Bank House, 120 yards E. of (18), has a late 17th-century addition on the S.W. In this is a doorway with a scrolled head and the initials and date I.I.B. 1690. Inside the earlier part of the house is some re-set enriched panelling with the initials and date I.E.B. 1604.
b(20). Cottage, at the S.W. end of Sunbiggin 2¼ m. E. of the church, has a later addition on the W.
d(21). Raisgill Hall, house about 1¾ m. S.S.E. of the church, is said to have been re-built by George Scaife c. 1650, but the front doorway has an embattled lintel with the initials and date R. and I.S. 1707 which is more probably the date of the building. Above the ground-floor windows on the W. is a continuous moulded label. Some of the windows are original. Inside the building are an original screen of moulded boarding and a spice-cupboard with an enriched door. The Bridge, on the roadway to the house, has a rubble segmental arch of 17th or 18th-century date.
d(22). Town End, house at the N. end of Langdale, nearly 2½ m. S.E. of the church, retains an original three-light window. Inside the building is a two-stage cupboard of the local type with an enriched fascia and pendants.
d(23). Town Foot, house 20 yards E. of (22), incorporates the head of a 15th-century window (Plate 31) of two trefoiled lights.
d(24). Cottage, 120 yards S.E. of (23), was built probably early in the 18th century.
d(25). House, at Rayne 650 yards E.N.E. of (22), has an added porch with the arms of Sharp and the initials and date R. and C.S. 1728.
d(26). Midfield, house about 2¾ m. S.E. of the church, has a doorway with the initials and date R. and B.W. 1685.
d(27). House, on the N. side of the road at Kelleth ½ m. E.N.E. of (26).
d(28). Flakebridge, house about 3½ m. S.E. of the church, has remains of original windows and a doorway with a scrolled head on the lintel.
d(29). High Flakebridge, house 300 yards S. of (28), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
e(30). High Shaw, house nearly 3½ m. S.S.E. of the church, contains an original panelled partition and a two-stage cupboard of the local type, with enriched upper panels and a fascia supported on balusters.
c(31). Danielhill, house nearly 1¾ m. S.S.W. of the church.
c(32). Steps, house nearly 2 m. S.W. of the church, contains a two-stage cupboard of the local type, with fascia and pendants.
c(33). Yew Tree Farm, house at Greenholm, 200 yards N.W. of (4), has a panel on the porch with the initials and date L.M.D. 1675. The inner door of the porch is nail-studded and retains its old knocker.
c(34). Eskew Beck House, 2½ m. S.W. of the church, retains a three-light window with wooden mullions.
c(35). Scalegill, house 160 yards N.W. of (34), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
c(36). Low Whinhowe, house 550 yards S.E. of (34), contains an original partition of moulded planks.
c(37). High Whinhowe, house ¼ m. S.W. of (36), was built early in the 18th century.
c(38). Buskethowe, house about 2 m. W.S.W. of the church, contains a spice-cupboard with the initials and date T. and A.S. 1686.
b(39). Gamelands, stone circle, 1 m. E. of the church, is about 138 ft. in diameter. Some of the stones are buried and nearly all have fallen; the highest stands about 2½ ft. above the ground and some of those fallen are 6 ft. long. With one exception all the stones are granite. The site was examined by R.S. Ferguson (C. and W. Trans. O.S. vi. p. 183, 1883) who found no trace of burials except a stone, possibly part of a cist. Two worked flints were also found.
b(40). Cairn, marked Tumulus on O.S., on Orton Scar 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, is about 51 ft. in diameter and 3½ ft. high. There are traces of a ring of larger stones round the base.
b(41). Cairn, marked Tumulus on O.S., on hill-side nearly 2 m. E. of the church, is about 49 ft. in diameter and 4 ft. high. It was examined by Greenwell (Brit. Barrows CLXXVIII, p. 394) and found to contain the scattered bones of three adult inhumation burials. In the middle a grave had been cut to a depth of 2 ft. in the rock and contained the body of a young man; at his head was a triangular implement of chert. Later burials, supposedly Anglian, were found laid in graves in the sides of the cairn.
b(42). Cairn, marked Tumulus on O.S., over ¾ m. E. of (41), is 50 ft. in diameter and 4½ ft. high. It was examined by Greenwell (Brit. Barrows CLXXIX, p. 395) and was found to contain the scattered remains of two bodies, an implement of double-ended chisel form and animal bones.
d(43). Mound, marked British Sepulchre on O.S., N.N.W. of Raisgill Hall and 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church, is about 30 yards in diameter and 2–3 ft. high. It has been much disturbed but Nicolson and Burn (Hist. of Westmorland I, p. 491) record the discovery of a skeleton and bones of other individuals.
b(44). Lynchets on a S. slope ½ m. N.E. of (39), are about 300 yards long and vary in width from 27 to 30 ft. The drop is from 2 to 3 ft.
b(45). Lynchets, about 300 yards W. of (42), are only faintly traceable.
Over Staveley, see Staveley, Over