THE PARISH OF ST. PETER, ASBY
Including the Manor of Garthorne.
Within this parish we have Tumuli (1) at Asby Mask, (2) one mile
S.S. W. of Little Asby, (3) Asby Winderwath Common one mile south
of Gathorne Hall. British Settlements (1) ¾ mile south of Great
Asby and (2) one and half mile S.S.W. of Great Asby. An oblong
enclosure with great ramparts on three sides S.E. of St. Leonard's
and a stone walled enclosure called 'Castle Folds' 3 miles S.W. of
Great Asby. The site of St. Leonard's Chapel at Little Asby in which
Richard L'Engleys, parson of Asby, endowed a chantry in 1298 with
one messuage and six acres of land in Great Asby.
In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV made
in 1291, the church is valued at £20; but in the "Novo Taxatio"
of 1318 this full value is reduced to £3. See page 22. The "Valor
Ecclesiasticus" made by order of Parliament, 26 Henry VIII, 1535,
gives the following:—
|Asby Rectory, St. Peter, Richard Scott is incumbent.|
|The aforesaid rectory is worth in Glebe||2||0|
|Tithes, oblations and the lesser things as in the Easter Book||£23||17||0|
|Reprisals to wit:—|
|Synodals 4s. and Procurations is. 8d.||5||8|
|Clear annual value||£23||13||4|
|A tenth part whereof||£2||7||4|
The estate of Asby Hall laid claim to an exemption from paying
tithes to the Rectory on the ground that it was a part of the possessions of Byland Abbey. It appears to have been the privilege
peculiar to the Cistercians to hold their lands, possessed prior to the
Lateran Council of 1215, exempt from tithes whilst in their own proper
In 1299 a chantry to St. Mary was founded within the church by
Robert de Askeby.
The foundation stone of a new church was laid by Miss Hill of
Appleby on 11 July, 1866.
The following is a list of the Incumbents whose names have been
met with during the present research.
|1374||Thomas de Anandale|
|1378||Stephen de Meaburn|
By Indenture dated 21 June, 1682, between Thomas Smith, D.D.,
dean of Carlisle of the one part and the Rev. George Theobald and
others of the second part. Dr. Smith for his good will which he had for
the poor people of Asby and towards the keeping of a school and the
maintenance of a master, granted to the feoffees his messuage and
tenement at Raisebeck, Orton, that one half of the rent should be
given yearly to the poor and the other half should be employed for
the continuance of the school and maintenance of the master. On
13 July, 1688, George Smith, citizen and merchant tailor of London,
granted his messuage and tenement in Asby for the maintenance and
continuance of the school. The school house, as the inscription over
the door head sets forth, was built by this George Smith. He also
left a legacy of £10 which was worth an annuity of 12s. of which 6s.
was to go to the poor, 5s. to be spent by the feoffees on ale and gingerbread and is. to purchase a football for the scholars every year. Up
to the time of Charles II the game of football was considered unlawful, a fact which makes this encouragement of the game the more
The Grange was the immediate successor to the motte and bailey
stronghold; it consisted of a flat area cut off from the surrounding
land by a deep and stockaded ditch, within was built up a common
hall from the sides of which a number of small cubicles led off for
private use. The whole was built of timber and mostly of one storey.
They were occupied by the possessors of the land or by their bailiffs.
And when there were at least four of these Granges within the parish
of Asby and when each possessor referred to his own particular one
as the Grange of Asby, it has become somewhat difficult to rightly
separate the items to each.
The pele tower, that now forms a part of the present
Rectory, undoubtedly stands upon the site of an earlier Grange that
belonged to the abbot and monks of Byland Abbey, who held a
considerable quantity of land round about from at least the year 1215.
And when more than one hundred years later, the order was issued
that all who held possessions to the south of the Border were to
protect the same by building towers of stone, it is reasonable to
suppose that the abbot instructed his bailiff, who was left in charge to
manage and protect the estate, so to do.
Unfortunately the ancient entrance and newel stairway have been
removed, but the Countess of Pembroke's large wooden lock, which
bears her initials and date, A.D. 1670, has been replaced on the
outer door. The Lady Anne with her full retinue took refuge here
during a "terrible storm" and in commemoration of the event gave
this lock to the owner. There is an item in her account book for 1673
which says:—" Payed to George Dent of Appleby for two great large
stock locks he made for me to give away, Two Pounds."
At the head of Asby Beck there is an early 15th
century Hall of considerable merit. A long building consisting of a
basement and two storeys above, with walls 3½ feet thick and which
were surmounted originally by a parapet and rampart walk. The
circular turret at the north angle is a very unusual feature in our
district; it is boldly corbelled out at the first floor level in order to
enclose a newal staircase that mounted upward to give access to the
rampart. Built into the wall there is a fragment of an armorial slab
showing the Bellingham bugles. It is suggested that during the reign
of James 1 a Bellingham purchased the property from Sir Christopher
Pickering of Ormside and Killington.
A few hundred yards higher up the valley is a
building bearing this name, and which doubtless has been built upon
the site of an early dwelling and presumably on a still earlier Grange.
Over the door is a sculptured stone bearing the Musgrave shield with
the initials and date, E.M. 1694. That the Musgrave family held
possessions in the district as early as 1292 is shown by a dispute
between the King and the abbot of Byland regarding the right of
possession of certain lands in Tebay and Asby. The jury, of whom
Nicholas de Musgrave was one, are all described as holding land in the
neighbourhood of the dispute. Ragg, Charters of Byland Abbey.
And if a Musgrave lived on this site, the dwelling at this date must
have been of the Grange type.
In 1420 Richard de Musgrave of Hartley, knt., by his attorney
appeared against John Marshall of Crackenthorpe and John Scafe of
Asby Grange, co. Westmorland, in a plea of trespass and conspiracy.
Coram Rege Rolls, Ebor., 1420, Michaelmas, m. 55.
This was the Grange of the Hospital of St.
Leonard at York and where the brethren had a mill. For some time
it was the residence of a branch of the Bellinghams of Levens.
Elizabeth Bellingham, a widow, was living here in 1534. On 23
January, 1544-5, James Bellingham granted to farm the Grange of
Garthorne to Alan his elder brother for a term of 80 years. On 23
April, 1547, James made his will leaving the Grange, of which he had
made a lease to Alan, to the "child of his wife who is now pregnant if
the same should be a son when such son shall be of the age of 21
years." Sir James Bellingham is said to have built the present Hall as
early as 1604. In 1650 Alan Bellingham entertained a number of
Scotch officers here during the Civil War. See under Crosby
Patrick's Bridge, over Asby Beck.
Thomas de Anandale, rector of Asby, left by his will, dated 18
November, 1374, "ponti Patrici de Askeby unam marcam." Seeing
that he was the rector, surely this must have occupied the site
opposite to the church where the present bridge now stands.
On 27 May, 1897, an application was made to the County Council
for a grant towards the cost of a bridge over the stream which crosses
the street in the village. The Council deemed such a bridge to be
very necessary to the safety and convenience of the public and
recommended that a grant should be made.
Bowbridge over Asby Beck on the road between Appleby and Great
This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28
April, 1679. On 19 April, 1680, Quarter Sessions ordered that the
bridge being in decay should be repaired forthwith by the High
Constables of the East and West Wards, who have undertaken to
repair the public bridges of the county. On 25 April, 1695, the Court
ordered that 5d. in the pound should be levied for the erection of a
large stone bridge for all carts and carriages at a place called Bowbridge. In relating details concerning the great flood of 2 February,
1822, the Westmorland Advertiser says that, with many other bridges,
"Asby Bridge is also demolished." This can only refer to this
Grant by Gerard de Lascelles to the monks of St. Mary at
Byland of part of his land at Asby by these bounds, to wit, "as
Maizongill goes down from the Skerres [? the Scars] and from the
lower head of that gill in a straight line to the thorn tree standing
upon the how of stones, which is on the lower side of Laithgrim, and
thence in a straight line acrss Laithgrim to little Lingwal, and from
thence eastward to the how of stones upon Widkerne fell, and by
that ridge to another how, thence to a third, and so unto the ditch,
and beyond the ditch eastward [? southward] the width of eight
perches, and so going down southward unto the tarn [? Sunbiggin
Tarn], and thence to the boundary of land belonging to the Hospital
and by that boundary unto Skerres and thence as far as the arable
land of Asby extends on that side towards Tebay." Beyond these
bounds he also gave them common of pasture of the whole of that part
of the town which was of his fee, with other easements such as the
taking of materials for roofing their houses and right of turbary.
For which grant the monks will render yearly to him and his heirs two
marks of silver, namely one mark at Pentecost and the other at the
feast of St. Martin. Alan de Lascelles, brother of the grantor, gave
his consent. The date of this grant lies between 1160 and 1170.
The above grant to the Abbey of Byland was confirmed by
Richard de Cotesford, lord of Asby Cotesford, whose charter adds,
"Furthermore the monks were to have common of pasture on the
arable land wheresoever Richard's cattle or those of his heir's or his
tenants feed, and all easements of pasturage, roofing and thatching
of houses, and of turbary, wherever to be found. All cultivations
and meadow land, except those existing in the time of Robert the
priest and Alan de Lascelles, to remain untilled and lie common
pasture. Nor should Richard or his heirs build or set any houses on
land in Asby, except in their own tofts of Asby Town. And the
sheep-fold and swine-stall which Alan de Lascelles made should
remain in the place where he set them unless Richard wished to
remove them away, which he might do, to set them between the
Vivary and Asby Town. All which things Richard swore putting
himself in the hands of Lord Roger, Archbishop of York, both for
himself and his heirs, faithfully to keep with the said monks of
Thomas de Anandale, rector of the church of Asby, made his will
on 18 November, in the octave of St. Martin, 1374. He desires to be
buried in the choir of his own church and faithfully remembers the
need for the due maintenance of the bridges. To the eight bridges of
Carlisle, Kirkoswald, Salkeld, Temple Sowerby, Appleby, Warcop,
Amot and Lowther he left 8 marks to be distributed in equal portions.
Likewise to the bridge of Patric of Askeby he left one mark. Testa.
Stephen, parson of the church of Askeby, by Adam
Crosseby his attorney, appeared against John Pereson in a plea that
he render unto him 40s. which he owes. De Banco Roll, 469, m.
The abbot of Hepp, by Thomas Dannay his attorney,
appeared against Robert de Bowefell of Kelleth and others in a plea
wherefore with force and armes they broke into the close of the said
abbot at Parvam Askeby and his trees and underwood lately growing
there they cut down and carried away to the value of 20 marks.
De Banco Rolls, 470, m. 267.
Stephen de Meburn, parson of the church of Askeby, by
Adam Crosseby his attorney, against John Malkynson in a plea that
he render unto him 60s. which he owes. De Banco Rolls, 475, m. 224;
479, m. 315.
Stephen de Meburn, parson of the church of Askeby
is in mercy for may defaults. The day given to Thomas de Quytryg,
knt., plaintiff by Thomas Karlel his attorney, and the aforesaid
Stephen by Adam Croseby his attorney in a plea of trespass and
contempt is the octave of St. Hilary. De Banco Roll, 476, m. 496d.
Askeby magna paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the King amounting
to 56s. 8d.; and Askeby parva, 40s. A total of £4. 16s. 8d. Excheq.
Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.
1669–1672. Hearth Tax Roll
1669–1672. Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.
Eight inhabitants were exempted from payment by Certificate.
1683 1 October.
The highway called Wygill Lane for about sixty yards
that is in the parish of Great Asby is in decay and ought to be repaired
by John Langhorn upon pain of £2.
1696 31 July.
Henry Fleming, rector of Asby and Grasmere, signed
the anti-Jacobite "Association" that was formed throughout the
Kingdom for the protection of William III.
1811 3 April.
William Fairer of Asby by his will bequeathed a piece of
ground at the top of his garth, 14 yards long adjoining to the lane and
9 yards deep and money sufficient to build three small good houses,
under one roof, with one room below and one room above, for three
poor widows or widowers who have been born in the parish " but none
of the Carlton's or Ion's families to have any benefit." The ground
bequeathed, however, was not suitable or convenient for the purpose
wherefore it was sold and permission was gained from Sir Frederick
Fletcher Vane to build upon the waste, close adjoining to the church
and to a fine spring of water called St. Helen's Well. From a deed
poll, dated 31 July, 1818, reciting the will of William Fairer we
gather that in pursuance thereof three cottages had been built and
that three widows occupied the same and that there was in the
hands of the Trustees £244 surplus; and further that Joseph Fairer,
a brother of the testator, had built an additional cottage and proposed
to give £100 if the interest could be applied as before, so that the
fourth inmate should share the charity jointly with the other three.
St Helen's Almshouses therefore started with an endowment of £344,
which has been augmented since by another £100 left by the will of
1859 8 August.
Indenture between John Metcalfe of Asby Coatsforth,
shoemaker, of the one part, and John Crosby of Breeks Hall, Ormside,
farmer, William Wakefield of Birklands, Kendal, esquire, and others
of the second part. Those of the second part being possessed of
divers sums of money for erecting a Chapel, the said John Metcalfe
for the sum of £11, grants to them the plot of freehold land,
measuring in length from east to west 13 yards and in breadth 9 yards.
being a portion of a garth in Asby Coatsforth, bounded on the northwest and north-east by the rest of the garth, on the south-east by the
public road and on the south-west by the public green, which land
was formerly the property of John Clemmett, to have and to hold to
them for the purpose of building a chapel for the worship of
"Christians sound in the Faith." Close Roll, 15429, 1860, pt. 5.
1862 28 August.
Indenture between John Penrith of Crosby Garret,
farmer, and Mary his wife of the one part and William Fawcett of
the same, gent. and many others of the second part. Those of the
second part being possessed of money to buy land to build a Chapel
for the use of the Primitive or Calvinistic Baptists, the said John and
Mary Penrith for the sum of £10 have sold to the said parties a piece
of freehold ground in Bell Garth in the township of Asby Coatsforth,
forty-five by thirty feet, bounded on the north-west by the public
road, and on the other sides by lands of Mary Penrith, to be used by
the said dissenters who are now meeting in a room in the premises of
Robert Yare Fairer at Asby. With power to erect a school or
schoolroom there. If the same Chapel be discontinued at any time,
the said premises to be used for such purposes as the managers of a
Society called the Baptist Building Fund, established in London in
1824, shall direct. The said Bell Garth was conveyed to Mary
Penrith by George Jackson on 17 November, 1841. Close Roll,
15988, 1862, pt. 259.
The Baptists were early divided into two sections,—those who in
accordance with Arminian views held the doctrine of "General
Redemption," and those who, agreeing with the Calvinistic theory,
held the doctrine of "Particular Redemption"; and hence they
assumed respectively the names of General Baptists and Particular
or Primitive Calvinistic Baptists. The latter became less Calvinistic
as time went on, a result largely attributable to the writings of
Andrew Fuller. These two communions existed side by side till
1891, when the General Baptist Association resolved to amalgamate
with the greater Calvinistic body.