THE PARISH OF ST. JAMES, ORMSIDE.
Within this parish we have a pre-historic barrow at the church,
and the Anglian Cup of the 8th century that was found in the church-yard in 1823. This highly ornamented piece of metal-work is of the
best period of Anglo-Saxon art and was presented to the York
Philosophical Society Museum by John Bland of Ormside Lodge.
The church stands upon the site that has been held sacred from
pre-historic times, for here, beside the river, is a barrow in which
skeletons have been found with their knees doubled up to their chins,
and here in a later pagan interment a hoard of Viking Aged weapons
was found in 1898. Within the ringed enclosure of earth and stone
the first pagan cell would be erected close beside the ground that was
consecrated by the burial of their dead, a spot that would be held
sacred still as the people became christian and raised their cross, for
they dared not desecrate it. Then, at a much later period, the tiny
cell of the holy man would give place to a little wattle church for
communial worship endowed with their votive offerings.
About the year 1087 the Normans took possession and later this
little House of God was appropriated to St. Mary's abbey at York.
In the year 1248 the abbot and convent granted the advowson to
the Bishop of Carlisle and his successors, reserving to themselves the
usual pension out of the same.
In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV made
in 1291 the church is valued at £13.6.8, but in the "Novo Taxatio"
it is reduced to £2. See page 22. The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made
by order of Parliament, 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives us the following:—
|Ormside Rectory, William Atkinson incumbent.|
|The aforesaid rectory is worth in—|
|Mansion and glebe||16||0|
|Tithes of grain, lamb and wool||£13||0||0|
|Oblations and the lesser dues as in the
|Reprisals to wit—|
|Synodals 4s., Procurations 2s.8d.||6||8|
|Clear annual value||£15||9||4|
|The tenth part whereof||1||10||11¼
The Commonwealth Survey of 1649 valued the living at £50,
Robert Simpson being the Incumbent. The subsequent Survey of
1657 is as follows:—That the right of presentation to the church was
in the hands of the Bishop of Carlisle but now is in his highness the
Lord Protector. That Mr. Robert Simpson is present Incumbent
there and hath for his maintenance the glebe land which is worth £4
by the year, and the tithes of corn, hay, wool, lamb and all other
tithes within the said parish which are worth £30 by the year.
Bishop Nicolson at his Visitation in 1703 records that "The altar
in the quire here stands east and west. There are no rails, but the
Rector has provided them at his own charge, and wants an injunction
to the churchwardens to see them set up at the expense of the
The tithes were commuted in 1846 for a rent charge of £78. 16s. 4d.
The church was restored in 1885–6 under Charles. J. Ferguson at a
cost of £743, but happily the tower escaped although it remained
unroofed till 1893.
In the churchyard there is a socket for a cross which bears the date
1643. A new cross was lowered into it in 1897 on the occasion of the
Queen's Diamond Jubilee, with the initials V.R. added.
A list of Incumbents whose names have been met with during this
|1284–1311||William de Gosford|
|1320–||John de Morland|
Grant by Sir Richard Tufton, bart. of Hothfield Place, co. Kent to
the rector and churchwardens of Great Ormside of pieces of land near
the said parish, bounded on the north-east and west by the said
Sir Richard's land and on the south by the public road from Appleby
to Great Ormside, to be for ever used as a school for the education of
children of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes in
the parish of Great Ormside. To be open to H.M. Inspectors and
conducted according to the principles of the National Society for
promoting the education of the poor in the principles of the established Church throughout England and Wales, with power to use
the same as a Sunday School, elect a teacher, etc. Trustees, Sir
Richard, John Wakefield of Sedgwick House and William Sisson of
Clifton near Bristol; any difference to be laid before the Bishop of
Carlisle. Close Roll, 14711, pt. 63, n. 6. The school house was built
by voluntary subscription.
Situate half a mile south from the Church is now a farm house.
The seat of the Barton family until they sold it, temp. Queen
Elizabeth, to Sir Christopher Pickering, who died in 1620, from
whom it passed to Cyprian Hylton, who died in 1652. The history
of the building, which clearly started as a small peel tower in the
14th century, is unknown. Since 1811 the embattled roof has
been taken off and a slated gable erected in its place. The Hall faces
the church and forms three sides of a quadrangle, there are a number
of arched stone passages, but the rooms possess no features of interest.
On 10 April, 1907, the Rural District Council of the East Ward,
applied to the County for assistance in erecting a bridge over Helm
Beck where the same crosses a highway. On 5 October the County
resolved in favour of such a bridge and a grant in aid, but considered
that the local landowners would be benefitted more than any one else
and that they should therefore contribute a considerable proportion
of the expense.
On 23 April, 1677, upon the petition of the inhabitants of Little
Ormside setting forth that there is a bridge in course of erection and
that the violence of great floods hath disabled one pillar, Quarter
Sessions favourably considered the prayer and offered a gratuity
when the bridge was sufficiently repaired and completed. On 1
October following Thomas Birkbeck, High Constable of the East
Ward, was ordered to pay the said inhabitants, only as a gratuity,
for and towards the repair of their bridge.
Foot Bridge, between the Townships of Great and Little Ormside.
On 28 November, 1807, a plan for the amendment of a public foot
bridge now in great decay, broken and ruinous was laid before the
Bench, and it being approved the High Constable was ordered to
rebuild the same and that henceforth it be considered a County Foot
1311 6 December.
Appointment of the Prior of Carlisle and William de
Gosford, rector of Ormside, to the office of Vicar-General during the
bishop's absence at the Council of Vienne. Register of Bishop Halton.
1311 6 December.
John de Morland was appointed to the church for a
period of six months. On 6 October, 1322, he was instituted to the
Rectory, in the collation of the bishop.
1340 28 August.
A question of common rights arose concerning the
land of Great Ormesheved between Hugh de Ormesheved and Robert
de Rosgill. Hugh claimed the right of pasturing the whole township.
Robert, by William de Thornburgh his attorney, claimed to be the
tenant of a fourth part. He said that Anketin de Meinwaryn, lord of
Ormesheved, granted and by his charter confirmed to Robert son of
Orm son of Ketel son of Elftred, together with Christiana his daughter
in frank marriage, one fourth part of Ormesheved, and that Robert
and Christiana were his ancestors and he was their heir and held it
accordingly. And he further stated that he, Robert, held that
portion in common with the aforesaid Hugh and that Hugh was
seised, at his own will, in three portions without any injury or
disseisin wrought by him. The jury found that Hugh and Robert
depastured the grazing land in common, hence they were both seised
in it, therefore it was agreed that Hugh gain nothing by this assize
but is at the mercy of the court for a false claim.
Robert de Ormesheved appeared against Thomas
Skayf in a plea wherefore with force and arms the corn and herbage of
the said Robert to the value of £10, lately growing at Ormesheved,
with certain beasts was depastured, trodden down and consumed.
De Banco Roll, 477, m. 455.
Ormesheved magna and parva paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the
king amounting to 39s. 4d. Excheq. Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.
William Hodgson was rector of Ormside when Sir John Johnson,
chaplain at Penrith, made his will. The chaplain left his breviary to
Robert Abbot, if he should take orders, but if not, then to Robert's
brother William; but if neither is available he puts it into the hands
of Sir William Hotteson [Hogeson or Hodgson], rector of Ormside, to
give to whomsoever of his family should take orders, so that as long
as it lasts it might be with some priest of his kin who will swear that
he will pray for his soul.
1616 8 April
Indenture between Thomas Salkeld of Corby on the one
part and Sir James Bellingham of Over Levens on the other part.
Conveyance in consideration of the sum of £200 to the said Sir James
Bellingham of the manor of Little Ormside and Great Ormside, co.
Westmorland, and of certain messuages and tenements with the
From the Lady Anne Clifford's Diary we find that she seems to
have employed always the local inhabitants to make her hay. For
example, she had some meadow land at Ormside and it took 151
days of work to mow and carry the hay. She paid the local cottagers
1s. 4d. per day for their work, the whole sum coming to about £11.
1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll
1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.
|Mr. Francis Hilton||4|
|Barnaby Simpson, vicar||1|
|Mr. Robert Bartram||2|
Five householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.
An Act for dividing and inclosing the waste grounds and parcels of
commons within the manor of Great Ormside was laid before Parliament this year. The Preamble states that whereas the Rt. Hon.
Sackville, earl of Thanet Island, is lord of the said manor; and the
said earl and Thomas Patenson, esquire, and others are proprietors of
houses and lands and entitled to right of common; and William
Preston, clerk, is Rector of the said parish and as such is entitled to
the Glebe, tithes, moduses, payments in lieu thereof; and the
Rt. Rev. Father in God, Edmund, bishop of Carlisle, is Patron of the
Rectory, may it therefore please your majesty, etc.
There is a Wesleyan Chapel at Catherine Holme erected in this
year with one hundred sittings.