SKELSMERGH AND PATTON.
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
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.
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.
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,
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order was revoked on 3 May the day following.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,
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.
14 January. Presentment that Laverock Bridge is out of repair;
order that the chief constable with Mr. Will. Shepherd view the same
and cause it to be repaired. Ibid.
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
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
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.
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.
6 April. Order to the high constables to view the public bridge
called Patton Bridge and contract for its repair. K. Order Book,
11 October. Order that a search be made for a record of the
Footway through Ladyford in Skelsmergh. Rough Minute Book,
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.
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.
7 October. Order to the two high constables to view and contract
for the repair of Patton Bridge. Ibid.
12 July. Order that the high constables view Mints Bridge and
report the condition of the same at the next Sessions. 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.
13 January. Presentment that Laverock Bridge is out of
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7 April. Presentment that Mints Bridge is a public bridge and in
great decay and ought to be repaired at the expense of the county.
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.
10 January. The same respecting Mint Bridge (Ibid.). Certified
in good and sufficient repair on 3 October, 1785. Ibid.
6 August. Licence for a Roman Catholic Chapel at the north end
of Dodding Green house in Skelsmergh. K. Minute Book, 1780–1804.
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
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.
8 January. Three Orders were filed with plans annexed for
widening the road from Patton Bridge to Kendal. Ibid.
7 April. Ordered that the county bridge at Patton be rebuilt
forthwith according to plan produced. Ibid.
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.
The church was built at a cost of £1378 10s.
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,
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.